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Car accidents and traumatic brain injuries: What you should know

If you have been in a car accident, you know first hand the potential injuries that may arise from the aftermath of a collision. You may experience achy muscles, soreness, dizziness and headaches. You could be suffering from a brain injury and not yet know it.

Traumatic brain damage is a common injury in the United States with approximately 2.87 million deaths, hospital visits and hospitalizations in one year alone. According to the Centers for Disease and Control, car accidents are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injury hospitalizations.

What is traumatic brain injury?

The soft tissue of the brain sits suspended in fluid within the skull cavity. A strong impact or blow can cause the brain to smack into the bony skull bone, causing it to bleed and bruise. The damaged tissue may become inflamed and swell within the confines of the skull cavity, creating pressure which can cause even more damage. Even mild brain injuries can create long-lasting problems.

What are the signs of a brain injury?

The signs of a brain injury may vary depending on what area of the brain is affected. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke report the following signs of mild brain injuries:

  • Dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Headache and confusion
  • Sensory deficiencies, such as blurred vision or trouble hearing
  • Trouble concentrating and difficulty remembering
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Change in behavior or mood

With moderate to severe brain injuries, you may feel headaches that increase in intensity, nausea and vomiting, seizures, tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, slurred speech, trouble swallowing and increased confusion.

It is critical that you seek immediate medical attention if you believe you have a brain injury.

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