Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

Pittsburgh football fans may understand that traumatic brain injuries are a serious concern in the sport, but they may not completely understand the issue. Additionally, it can be important to understand that the issue can affect the lives of many who are not involved in sports. In fact, millions of residents of the United States are affected by such injuries annually.

A traumatic brain injury occurs when a jolt, bump or other head injury results in some level of damage to the brain. At least 50 percent of such injuries are severe enough to warrant hospital treatment. In some cases, permanent brain damage can occur, and in other cases, a TBI can result in death. An estimated 50 percent of TBI cases result from automobile accidents.

It is important to monitor for symptoms of a brain injury over time due to the fact that some such symptoms may not manifest right away. It may take weeks for some issues to present themselves. Dizziness, nausea, ringing in the ears, and head or neck pain are some of the most common symptoms. These may occur in the mildest form of TBI, a concussion. In more serious injuries, a headache may persist or worsen. Slurred speech or dilated pupils are also indicators of more serious TBIs. An inability to wake up could be a significant concern. Additionally, convulsions, vomiting and weakness in extremities should be addressed promptly. Imaging tests and neurological exams may be used by medical professionals in assessing a TBI.

As an individual is evaluated by a physician in connection with a blow to the head, it is important for signs and symptoms to be clearly communicated so that follow-up care can be sought as needed. A physician might be deemed liable if there is a failure to thoroughly assess an individual's condition or if a lack of symptoms results in minimal information being provided about monitoring for problems in coming days and weeks.

Source: Medline Plus, "Traumatic Brain Injury", November 03, 2014

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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