Head injuries don’t always show symptoms immediately. Some symptoms are slow in appearing and become evident only after a few days of an accident. Different symptoms of brain injuries include the followings:
- Black out (loss of consciousness)
- Agitation, anger and confusion or any other abnormal emotion
- Difficulty in communication and comprehension
- Repeated nausea or vomiting
- Headache, especially if it worsens over time
- Convulsion and seizure
- Loss of coordination
- Dilation in either or both pupils
- Changes in vision
- Difficulty in controlling bladder or bowl movement
- Clear fluid coming out of ears or nose
If brain injury is suspected, the person must be rushed to hospital for immediate treatment; otherwise the patient’s condition could get worse. Serious secondary injury can develop if the primary symptoms are not recognized and treatment is delayed.
Different Types of Brain Injuries
Two types of brain injury are very common in an accident case:
- Acquired Brain Injury – It happens due to lack of oxygen supply to brain.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – It is caused by severe blow to head or trauma.
Different parts of the brain may be damaged after an accident, depending on the circumstances.
Brain Stem: This part may be injured if the back of the head, cervical spine or neck receives a sharp blow. If the base of the brain suffers trauma, it could seriously damage the victim’s temporary memory and attention span. The brainstem controls arousal along with other functions and injuries may result into frustration, anger and disorientation.
Frontal Lobe: This part of the brain suffers mild to severe damage in most of the car accident cases. It covers a vast area from the crown of the head to behind the eyes. The frontal lobe is the heart of the cognitive functions and also controls human behaviour.
Temporal Lobe: If the temporal lobe suffers an injury, it severely affects cognitive skill such as language and memory. This part is affected if the side of the head receives a direct blow behind the ears. This part houses the limbic system that helps in regulation of human emotion.
Glasgow Coma Scale
The doctors use this scale to determine severity of the brain injury. The scale uses three tests – a motor response, a verbal response and an eye opening response. Each response is assigned a certain value and the sum of all the values makes the Glasgow Coma Scale score. As per GCS, the lowest possible score is 3, implying that the injured is in full coma and the highest possible score is 15, implying that the injured is fully conscious.
With the person recovering, the GCS scale is evaluated once again and a new number is assigned. The new GCS value helps the doctor figure out if the treatment is working or not. The new score also helps the doctor assess if the patient under treatment for brain injury will recover, how long it will take to recover and quality of life in post-treatment phase.
Contact Fisher and Talwar to know what an individual with brain injury suffered in a motor accident should do to obtain compensation from the at-fault driver.