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

How is a traumatic brain injury identified?

The symptoms for a brain injury are not always immediately apparent. However, prompt medical intervention may be important for limiting adverse effects, making it important to seek treatment as soon as possible if one is suspected. Some Pennsylvania residents may wonder about the methods used by medical professionals to diagnose a traumatic brain injury. Additionally, it may be helpful to understand potential symptoms so that appropriate decisions about seeking assistance can be made.

Medical professionals use several strategies in identifying a traumatic brain injury. These include the Glasgow Coma Scale Test, a test that involves the use of simple directions as a care provider determines how well an injured patient is able to respond. Responses may help in assessing the severity of the injury. Imaging tests are also used, including MRIs and CT scans, to obtain a visual understanding of possible trauma. Additional assessments include interviewing others who may have been present when a patient was injured.

Some of the most common symptoms used to determine that a TBI may have occurred include severe headache, nausea, dizziness, loss of vision, weak extremities, and numbness. Drowsiness, confusion, and loss of consciousness are also significant indicators of possible traumatic brain injuries. Once the issue is diagnosed, treatment can be recommended based on the specific details of the case. In some situations, rest and over-the-counter pain relief may be sufficient. In other cases, surgery and hospitalization may be necessary.

Every situation is dependent on the specific circumstances that have caused the injury. Contributing factors can range from poor maintenance of a floor or staircase to a car accident. The failure by a health care practitioner to accurately and promptly diagnose such an injury could lead to severe complications, possibly giving rise to a medical malpractice claim.

Source: Findlaw, "Brain Injury", December 29, 2014

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

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