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February 28, 2013 / Mark Kerrigan

Signs of a brain injury


Spotting the signs of brain injury
Brain injuries can be amongst the most serious that an individual can suffer. Our brain is a vital organ, controlling all the bodies’ functions and processes as we go about our daily lives. Protecting our brains should be a priority whenever there is a risk of suffering any kind of head injury.
When dealing with brain injuries a lot of symptoms are not immediately obvious, so it is important to be able to recognise the signs of a potential injury. Brain injuries can have serious life changing effects for those who suffer them, often leading to physical impairment, memory problems, and speech impediments.
Causes
One of the most common causes of brain injuries are road traffic accidents. People are injured when they are thrown from their seats by the force of a car crash, and pedestrians hit by cars often hit their heads on the vehicle or the road. Accidents on bicycles also see a large number of people suffering head and brain injuries. Other potential causes include falls, accidents in the home, participating in sports, assaults and industrial accidents involving falls or heavy falling items. The risk of these sorts of injuries increases when alcohol is involved, especially in cases of drunk driving or even drunk cycling.
The main signs and symptoms of brain injuries
Injuries such as concussions, haemorrhages, and skull fractures are not always obvious to the naked eye. These kinds of injuries will present symptoms that if left unchecked can lead to further damage being caused to the brain. The symptoms of a brain injury can include:
• Unconsciousness, either very briefly or for a longer period of time
• Difficulty staying awake or still being sleepy several hours after the injury
• Having a seizure or fit
• Difficulty speaking, such as slurred speech
• Vision problems or double vision
• Difficulty understanding what people say
• Balance problems or difficulty walking
• Loss of power in part of the body, such as weakness in an arm or leg
• Significant memory loss, such as not being able to remember what happened before or after the injury
• Clear fluid leaking from the nose or ears. This could be cerebrospinal fluid, which normally surrounds the brain
• A black eye with no other damage around the eye
• Bleeding from one or both ears
• A loss of hearing in one or both ears
• A lasting headache since the head injury occurred
• Vomiting since the injury
• Irritability or unusual behavior
If you or someone you know is suffering from one or several of these symptoms after suffering a head injury there could be a possibility that a brain injury has occurred. A lot of head injuries may not appear to have caused damage to the brain initially so it is important to consult a doctor if these symptoms persist. If they are ignored further damage can be caused, for example by suffering a concussion or allowing bleeding on the brain to continue untreated. As well as recognising symptoms after head injuries occur, risks of brain damage can be reduced if efforts are made to prevent the initial injuries happening.
Preventative measures
There are ways to reduce the likelihood of suffering a serious brain injury, particularly those which involve road vehicles and bicycles:
Wear a helmet
Wearing helmets whilst cycling is highly recommended as cyclists are at risk of being involved in traffic accidents with cars and HGVs. Cycling deaths hit a 5 year high in 2012 as 122 cyclist died on British roads, a statistic that would be much worse if more people chose not to wear a helmet. By wearing a helmet you will significantly reduce the risk of brain injury and be much safer on the roads.
Seatbelts
Wearing a seatbelt whilst in a car is another straightforward way to reduce the risk of brain injury. Seatbelts are designed to keep people in their seats, reducing the risk of being thrown forwards and suffering serious head injuries. Without a seatbelt the chances of being killed in a road traffic accident increases significantly, so make sure to buckle up and prevent serious injuries whether you’re a driver or passenger.
Protect yourself from brain injuries.
There are a range of other situations in which precautions can be taken to prevent accidents and injury. Safety gear like helmets and padding should always be worn when it is required, and protective clothing practices should be followed in the workplace. Make sure to cross roads safely and follow instructions when participating in dangerous activities at home or on holiday. Exercising caution in all areas of your life and you can help prevent the risk of a potentially life changing brain injury.
Author: Grieves Solicitors – This post is provided by specialist brain injury claims solicitors.

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One Comment

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