Brain Injuries: What To Know If A Loved One's Been Hurt

Brain Injuries: What To Know If A Loved One's Been Hurt

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 1.5 million people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Statistics show that 85,000 endure long-term disability and 50,000 victims die after receiving a brain injury. The most common causes of brain or head injuries are car accidents, bike or motorcycle collisions and falls. When someone suffers a blow to the head, the soft brain tissue undergoes bruising, bleeding, swelling and tearing.

Bumps or Bruises

A blow to the head often causes a bump or bruised area. The scalp may have a cut, which typically bleeds a great deal. The person may experience dizziness, a headache, nausea and vomiting or see flashing lights. The amount of internal damage is hard to determine and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider. A physician will generally perform a physical assessment and may want a CT or MRI scan. Treatment depends on the seriousness of the injury, but may include stitches for an open wound, ice and continued monitoring.


Concussions are typically the result of some type of blunt force trauma. When the blow happens, the brain absorbs the force of the blow and may jostle from side to side, or from the front of the skull to back. The amount of injury the brain suffers depends on the force of the blow and varies from mild to severe. The symptoms the victim experiences also varies and may include headache, nausea and vomiting, confusion and blurry vision. Some people repeat phrases, do not remember what happened or lose consciousness. Treatment generally includes a CT or MRI scan to determine the severity of the injury. However, some injuries may not be visible though the patient experiences symptoms. In most cases, rest and time allow the brain to heal.

Skull Fractures

Fractures may involve a simple crack, dents or complete breaks in the skull, which could impale soft brain tissue with bone fragments. There are a variety of symptoms that may appear after the trauma takes place that include abnormal swelling and bruising, bruising on the face, headache, nausea and vomiting, confusion and slurred speech. Clear fluid or blood may come from the nose or ears. The swelling that occurs following a fracture could become life-threatening and requires immediate attention.

Legal Compensation

If your head injury was the result of someone else’s negligence or bad driving, you may be entitled to financial compensation to help you cover the costs of emergency care and future hospital bills. If the injury is particularly serious or expensive and you are getting resistance from liable parties, you may want to consider the services of a personal injury lawyer like those with Bronson Jones & Co in Vancouver. Injury lawyers can be your financial bridge between injury and recovery.

Immediately after the accident, do not move the person unless absolutely necessary. Apply direct pressure to control bleeding. At the hospital, physicians generally perform a physical and verbal examination of the patient, along with imaging studies. Depending on the location and type of fracture, the patient may only be required to take pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be needed to remove bone fragments or to reduce internal pressure.