Head injuries are known to occur yearly, usually due to vehicular accidents, falls or playing high-impact sports. Some cases are considered minor and can be readily managed. On the other hand, if an individual sustained a traumatic brain injury, it would require medical attention. If an individual is suspected with a head injury, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Millions of individuals are reported with traumatic brain injuries every year and most cases require hospitalization. An individual can end up with an open injury in which the skull is fractured or a closed injury. It is important to note that the characteristic of an injury usually depends on its severity which is determined with the help of the Glasgow Coma Scale.
What are the mild characteristics?
An individual who sustained a mild traumatic brain injury can momentarily lose consciousness but not on all cases. The individual might also have amnesia right away or after the impact was sustained. Some cognitive issues can occur with mild traumatic brain injuries such as concentration or memory.
The individual will also end up with changes in the mood. Sensory changes can also occur such as blurred vision, ringing in the ears or a bad taste in the mouth. Right after the injury, the individual might experience headaches, dizziness and confusion. The individual might also develop epidural hematoma where there are no symptoms and then followed by an increasing headache, diminished level of consciousness and focal neurological deficits.
When it comes to moderate cases of traumatic brain injuries, the headache becomes persistent along with agitation, weakness and slurred speech. The individual has a longer period where he/she loses consciousness than the mild one and can end up with a fleeting lucid break followed by a continuing neurologic deterioration. In case the individual sustained a fracture in his/her skull, there is a possibility that the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) will leak from the ear or nose. The individual will eventually lose his/her sense of hearing or smell.
For severe cases of traumatic brain injuries, serious damage to the brain can occur. Most cases of adults have a good prognosis or only moderate disability. Nevertheless, the mortality rate in cases of severe injuries is within 25-33%. Aside from the characteristics present in mild and moderate cases of traumatic brain injuries, other indications of severe injury include difficulty to wake up, loss of coordination, convulsions and confusion. The cognitive deficits are also evident such as persistent amnesia. In addition, intracranial pressure can also occur and requires monitoring. In such cases, hospitalization is required and the doctor will perform thorough assessment to ensure the overall health of the individual.