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How do I spot the symptoms of a traumatic brain injury?


The impact of a traumatic brain injury last a lifetime. However, depending on the nature and severity of the brain injury, brain injuries can sometimes hide or the symptoms may be difficult to immediately spot. Because brain injuries are becoming increasingly common, including as a result of car accidents, it is useful to know the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries and how to spot them.

Traumatic brain injuries can have physical and psychological impacts. Some of the impacts of a traumatic brain injury may be immediately visible and noticeable, while others may take weeks or months to develop, which can make traumatic brain injuries challenging to live with and to treat. The symptoms of traumatic brain injuries can fall into categories including physical, sensory and cognitive symptoms.

The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can include symptoms similar to a more mild brain injury but can also include additional symptoms as well. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can include the loss of consciousness; persistent or worsening headache; convulsions or seizures; inability to awaken; weakness or numbness in the fingers or toes; loss of coordination; dilated pupils; and clear fluids from the ears or nose. In addition, cognitive or mental symptoms resulting from a traumatic brain injury can include profound confusion; agitation, unusual behavior or combativeness; slurred speech; or coma. It is important to be able to spot these symptoms, especially following a car accident or other trauma.

Because of the challenges associated with treating traumatic brain injuries, treatment can be costly and continuing. Victims should be familiar with the variety of resources available to them, including legal options, if they or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the negligence of another party such as in a car accident.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Traumatic Brain Injury," Accessed July 19, 2016

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