Minor to Severe, Head Injuries Can’t Be Taken Lightly
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States suffers two million traumatic brain injuries a year. Of those injuries 52,000 are fatal. Louisiana hospitals alone estimate annual care for over 20,000 victims, while many more suffer without realizing they even have a TBI.
Head injuries are the worst type of accident injury because they can easily affect your brain, causing problems for both your physical and cognitive functions. When you injure your head, your brain is in danger. This is why you should seek medical attention immediately to diagnose the degree of damage you sustained.
Degrees of Brain Injuries
Identifying the degree of a traumatic brain injury depends on the amount of force that was applied to the skull, whether or not penetration occurred, the amount of damage caused to the brain, and the results of a Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) test to determine your level of consciousness.
Mild TBIs (GCS 13–15)
These are head injuries that cause a brief change in your mental status. You may become dazed, confused, or briefly lose consciousness. Your GCS should be within the range of 13–15 and other imaging tests shouldn’t indicate any additional brain swelling or problems. Mild TBIs are the most common type of TBI and generally don’t cause lasting problems. However, repeated mild TBI occurances—such as concussions or whiplash—could have tragic results on your brain and cause fatal consequences over an extended period of time if not diagnosed properly or treated.
Moderate TBIs (GCS 9–12)
These generally result from violent shaking or a forceful blow to the head and can cause you to lose consciousness for up to six hours. For some, these injuries are without consequences and are easily treated. However, depending on the severity of the blow, it could cause brain swelling, bleeding, and hemorrhaging—which can permanently affect physical and cognitive functions without treatment or diagnosis.
Severe TBIs (GCS of 1–11)
This occurs when the brain itself has been critically damaged by being crushed, sheared, stabbed, or ripped. These injuries usually result in open head wounds and require immediate emergency care. However, if you survive a severe TBI, your risk of permanent cognitive and physical damage is extremely high.
Any type of accident that injures your skull could potentially affect your brain. Although they may not seem severe, even small exterior bumps could be indications of tears or bruising inside the skull. This is why no matter how insignificant you think your head injury is, you should always seek medical attention to help diagnose the degree of your injury and explore your treatment options.
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