A motor vehicle accident can result in injuries to any part of the body. One of the most devastating injuries to suffer in a crash is a traumatic brain injury. A brain injury can disrupt your life and create a future of struggle and complications. Unless you have an open head wound, it is not always easy for medical responders to recognize damage to your brain.
Sometimes brain injuries occur from the violent back-and-forth motion of a vehicle in a crash, and other times, a blow to the head causes bruising and bleeding in the brain. The severity of the injury and its location in the brain play important roles in the outcome. However, the sooner doctors can assess your injury, the faster they can act to prevent further damage to the delicate tissue in your brain.
What are signs of a brain injury?
When responders arrive at an accident scene, the first thing they do for those involved is to make sure they are breathing. They may also use precautions to immobilize someone who may have suffered a spinal injury. Then they will assess whether an accident victim may have suffered a brain injury. If you were recently in an accident, first responders likely looked for the following signs of traumatic brain injury:
- Bleeding from a wound on your head
- Breaks in your skull
- Broken facial bones
- Eyes protruding forward or sinking back into the head
- Difficulty breathing through your mouth or nose
- Unconsciousness, even for a brief period
- Confusion, disorientation or amnesia
Responders may have checked your vision since injury to certain parts of the brain may affect your sight. They may have asked you simple questions to see if the area of your brain that controls language suffered damage. Other simple tests helped them assess the possibility that doctors would be dealing with a brain injury when you arrived at the hospital.
What happens now?
Living with a brain injury may mean that you struggle with tasks that were once routine. Having conversations, reading, controlling your moods and emotions, and sleeping normally may be just a few of the permanent challenges you are facing. You may be unable to work and struggling to maintain your relationships. You may also deal with ongoing pain, seizures and other physical consequences of the accident.