Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)










Posted by the Charleston SC Car Accident Lawyers at Anderson & Schuster, Attorneys at Law, LLC.  Our Charleston injury lawyers help people that have been injured by the acts or omissions of others.  If you or a loved one has suffered an unnecessary injury in Charleston, North Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, Goose Creek, or anywhere else across the South Carolina lowcountry, contact our office and let us get to work for you.

A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) occurs when an external mechanical force causes brain dysfunction.  Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body.  An object penetrating the skull, such as some form of a projectile or even a shattered piece of skull can also cause a traumatic brain injury.  Mild TBI may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells.  However, more serious TBI can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that Traumatic Brain Injury is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths.  Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. In 2010 alone, about 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospitalizations, or deaths were associated with TBI. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, a Traumatic Brain Injury can have wide-ranging physical and psychological effects.  Some signs or symptoms may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days or weeks later.  The signs and symptoms of a mild TBI may include:

  • Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  • No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue or drowsiness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Memory or concentration problems
  • Mood changes or mood swings
  • Feeling depressed or anxious

Moderate to severe Traumatic Brain Injuries can include any of the signs and symptoms of a mild Traumatic Brain Injury, as well as the following symptoms that may appear within the first hours to days after a head injury:

  • Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Clear fluids draining from nose or ears
  • Inability to awaken from sleep
  • Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  • Loss of coordination
  • Profound confusion
  • Agitation, combativeness or other unusual behavior
  • Slurred speech
  • Coma and other disorders of consciousness

The Mayo Clinic advises that you should always see a doctor if you have received a blow to the head or body that concerns you or causes behavioral changes.  You should seek emergency medical care if there are any signs or symptoms of traumatic brain injury following a recent blow or other traumatic injury to the head.  The terms “mild,” “moderate,” and “severe” are used to describe the effect of the injury on brain function.  A mild injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis.


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