Concussion Awareness Day: Brain Injury Facts You Need to Know
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that frequently occur after car accidents. Yet a study shows that 9 out of 10 adults cannot properly define a concussion.
Although it is referred to as a "mild" brain injury, concussions are very serious. A concussion can worsen or become life-threatening if not treated properly.
National Concussion Awareness Day takes place on September 16, 2022. Created in 2016 by a high school freshman who suffered a concussion, the day's purpose is to open up public discussion about the "concussion epidemic."
"By raising awareness of the importance of recognizing a concussion, treating it appropriately and supporting the injured we can positively impact lives across the country," the site says.
How do car accidents cause concussions?
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of concussions in South Carolina. Concussions are traumatic brain injuries. They happen when the brain is knocked around inside the skull and twisted by a violent blunt force hit or blow.
The stretching, strain, and bruising cause brain damage. Concussions may be "complicated" or "uncomplicated."
Typically, complicated concussions involve brain hemorrhages or internal bleeding, while uncomplicated concussions do not. Most concussions are uncomplicated. However, a concussion should always be taken seriously and treated by a licensed medical professional.
What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion?
The warning signs of a concussion might be immediately obvious or develop over time. Concussions can affect a person's physical abilities, thought processes, sleep patterns, and emotions. Signs that someone may have a concussion include:
- Dizziness, inability to balance
- Feeling foggy or slow
- Nausea, vomiting
- Deteriorated short-term memory
- Change in sleep patterns
- More emotional, easily irritated
- Personality change
For many people, concussion symptoms clear up in 6-10 days, but sometimes it takes two weeks or more for people to feel restored. If symptoms persist for 3-6 months, the person may have post-concussion syndrome (PCS). Concussion treatment often includes rest, change of habits (e.g., you may not be able to do specific activities while you recover, like sports), medication, and sometimes surgery.
What are the different concussion types?
In general, there are six types of concussions. Type is defined by the effect the damage has on the injured person. Concussion types include:
- Mood – This concussion type may cause the injured person to worry excessively. They may have difficulty "turning off" their thoughts and sleeping. This change in mood can impact personal relationships and social events.
- Cognitive – Difficulty with prolonged, clear thinking is a hallmark of this type. In addition, cognitive concussions often leave the injured person fatigued.
- Vestibular – Defined by an inability to balance and difficulty controlling body motions.
- Ocular – Causes vision problems and may make it difficult to look at computer and smartphone screens for long periods of time.
- Cervical – This type of concussion creates pain and pressure on the neck, spine, and spinal cord. This may result in frequent headaches.
- Post-traumatic migraine – Frequent and disabling headaches that may cause nausea and vomiting, making it difficult to do regular tasks and activities.
Concussions can develop into more severe injuries. Call 911 and get emergency medical attention if you notice these symptoms:
- One pupil (the black center of the eye) is larger than the other
- Repeated vomiting
- Slurred speech and confusion
- Cannot wake up
- Headache that won't go away
- Convulsions, seizures
- Weakness, tingling, numbness
- Uncharacteristic behavior
Concussions can be "complicated" by a skull fracture or hematoma (bleeding).
When to contact a brain injury lawyer
You need to know your legal rights and options if you sustained a concussion or other type of head injury in a Beaufort, Hilton Head, Bluffton, or other Lowcountry area accident. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, and the best way to ensure you don't get taken advantage of by the insurance company is to let an experienced brain injury attorney fight for you.
At Twenge + Twombley, we've seen the devastating effect concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can have on the lives of accident victims and their families. Between medical bills, lost earnings, and the long-term effects of a concussion on the victim and their loved ones, it can feel like a lot to overcome.
Concussion injury victims may have recourse through the South Carolina civil justice system. As such, it's in your interest to talk to a brain injury attorney from our law firm if you or someone you love sustained a concussion in an accident. Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about how we can help with your potential concussion injury claim.