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What is a traumatic brain injury?

If you are a Maryland resident who is hurt in an accident resulting in a head injury, you should be aware that no matter how seemingly minor your injury is, even a bump on the head can result in a TBI. The Mayo Clinic defines a traumatic brain injury http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/definition/con-20029302 as a blow or jolt to your head wherein an external force causes brain dysfunction. A TBI can lead to catastrophic physical and mental complications, lifelong disabilities and death.

Falls are by far the most common events that cause TBIs, with vehicular accidents coming in second. TBIs also are often seen in high-impact sports such as football, baseball, soccer, boxing, hockey and skateboarding. Approximately 20 percent of TBIs are the result of violence, such as gunshot wounds, domestic violence and child abuse.

TBI symptoms

TBI symptoms can appear immediately after an accident or may take several weeks, even months, to appear. “Mild” TBIs can cause temporary loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness, dazedness, nausea and/or vomiting, convulsions and disorientation. You also could experience any or all of the following:

  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tinnitus; i.e., ringing in your ears
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Mood swings
  • Depression and/or anxiety

A moderate or severe TBI could cause any of the above symptoms, as well as any or all of the following:

  • Dilation of your pupil(s)
  • Fluid drainage from your ear(s)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness or numbness in your toes and/or fingers
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures, coma and death

If your child sustains a TBI, (s)he may be too young to be able to fully explain what (s)he is feeling. Watch closely for any of the following:

  • Persistent crying
  • Eating habit changes
  • Sleeping pattern changes
  • Loss of interest in toys or activities
  • Persistent sadness
  • Unusual irritability or combativeness

Any time you or your child(ren) receive a blow to the head, you should seek immediate medical treatment. It is vital that an experienced health care provider arrive at a proper diagnosis as quickly as possible so that appropriate treatment may begin. This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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