Look for These Symptoms if You Suspect a Loved One Suffered a TBI

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is one of the most common and devastating injuries an individual can sustain in a car crash, sports accident or other type of trauma. When an individual has a TBI, he or she needs prompt treatment in order to avoid serious complications and reduce the damage. For this reason, knowing how to recognize the signs of a TBI is essential.

What Is a TBI?

A traumatic brain injury is an injury that occurs after a violent blow to the body or head. Traumatic brain injury can also occur if an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain. Mild traumatic brain injuries may cause only temporary effects, while more severe TBIs can cause complications that persist for many years after the initial incident. A mild TBI may also be referred to as a "concussion."

TBIs can occur after any type of incident that affects the brain. However, they are most common after auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, sports injuries and falls.

Symptoms of TBI

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the symptoms of traumatic brain injury fall into four main categories: sleep, emotional, cognitive and physical. Someone who has a traumatic brain injury may sleep more than usual, less than usual and/or have trouble falling asleep. Emotional symptoms of TBIs include irritability, anxiety, sadness and/or an increase in emotional expression.

Some of the cognitive symptoms of a TBI include having trouble remembering new information, trouble concentrating, slowed thinking and trouble thinking clearly. The most common physical symptoms of TBI include feeling fatigued, having balance problems, sensitivity to sound and/or light, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision and headache.

If you or a loved one has sustained a blow to the head or has been involved in another type of trauma that could cause a TBI, watching for these symptoms is essential. The sooner the diagnosis is made, the sooner doctors will be able to provide the patient with instructions to help him or her recover as quickly as possible and minimize the chances of severe complications.

Severe TBI Symptoms

In some cases, a person who has a traumatic brain injury may need immediate medical attention. The most common scenario involves the development of a blood clot in the brain, which can crowd the brain and lead to lasting or even fatal complications. If your loved one experiences any of the following symptoms after an incident that could cause a TBI, he or she needs immediate medical treatment:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unusual behavior
  • Severe mood disturbances
  • Inability to recognize people or places
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • One pupil dilated more than the other
  • Extreme drowsiness and/or inability to wake up from sleep
  • Slurred speech
  • Ongoing nausea and/or repeated vomiting
  • Lack of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • A headache that continues to worsen.

If the individual is a young child, you should also seek emergency treatment if he or she is crying inconsolably and/or refuses to nurse or eat.

Why Is Prompt Treatment Important?

Most traumatic brain injuries are mild and will improve on their own over time. However, if the individual is unaware of the injury and doesn't take the proper precautions, healing may not occur as quickly or as completely as it could. While the individual is recovering, he or she is at a higher risk of sustaining another TBI, which can raise the risk of serious and/or ongoing complications. In addition, if the initial TBI is severe, prompt treatment is important to minimize the damage to the brain and limit the lasting effects of the injury.



From the Author: Compensation For A TBI