The Lawyers of Young and Young are your Indiana Severe Injury Attorneys. We represent severely injured Hoosiers all over the state from our Indianapolis Offices. Today, we want to discuss the subtle signs and symptoms of brain injury. As you know from our past discussions, brain injury affects thousands of Hoosiers. The effects of the brain injury range from causing the victim to be in a coma for the rest of their lives to signs and symptoms that people do not even know are caused by the injury. (Remember, we are not doctors, the following is general information and is not intended to be used to diagnose any particular problem, if you are concerned about your medical condition, please seek the advice of a competent licensed medical professional).
Stepping back, brain injury is caused when the brain itself is injured. The injuries can be from car accidents, drunk driving accidents, falls, being hit by an object, illness (such as a stroke), bicycle accidents, falls down stairs, and other incidents. Usually the head is struck by something, or the head is forced forward and then back very rapidly. When the head is forced back and forth very rapidly, the brain hits first the front of the skull and then the back of the skull. This can cause bruising and bleeding in the brain. The injured person may lose consciousness, but not losing consciousness does not mean there is no brain injury. Sometimes the person has altered awareness. This altered awareness has been described as having the bell rung or knocked goofy.
The patient may seek medical treatment, and they may not, depending on the severity of the injury. Fortunately, awareness is increasing about the problem associated with brain injury and people are more likely to seek treatment these days. The medical treatment will include being asked questions about your medical history, how you were hurt, and examination of your body and tests. These tests may include x-rays and CT scans or MRIs. These tests may be negative as they are not capable of fully “seeing” all of the potential injury, in other words they are good tests, just not perfect tests. The patient may be sent home and told to be on the lookout for unusual symptoms. It is essential that the injured person be watched by another person for these symptoms because they may not be obvious to the injured person.
These symptoms may include changes in personality (Like crying easily when the person never was a crier in the past), easily angered, changes in sleep patterns, memory issues, speech issues (such as not being able to identify and use certain words, changes in energy level, changes in former hobbies or interests, changes in friends (such as not being interested in seeing friends), being a little off, not completing tasks that ordinarily would always be completed, headaches, changes in senses such a vision, hearing and smell.
If you have had a brain injury (or a loved one has had a brain injury) be on the lookout for these signs and symptoms. They may be subtle, and may not appear for days or weeks. If they do appear, and or do not go away, seek medical attention as soon as possible from your primary care physician or neurologist. You may need further medical care and treatment to help you deal with these medical issues.