It is no surprise that car accidents have the potential to cause devastating injuries to people in Kentucky and throughout the United States. Traumatic brain injuries kill approximately 150 people in American every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Nearly 2.87 million people were hospitalized, sent to the emergency room or die every year as a result of brain trauma. Not only is it critical to know how to drive safely in order to avoid becoming involved in an accident, but it is helpful to understand traumatic brain injuries.
How can brain injuries occur?
While falls are the leading cause of brain injuries, car accidents are the second leading cause of all traumatic brain injury-related hospitalizations. Any sudden impact may cause the head to hit against the steering wheel or side window of the car. When this occurs, the soft tissue of the brain hits into the hard skull bone.
The jolt may lead to brain bruising, inflammation and bleeding, which can result in short-term and long-term injuries. Brain damage can also occur if an object pierces the skull and punctures the brain tissue.
What are the symptoms of a brain injury?
The signs of brain trauma may appear immediately after an accident or take several days or weeks to show up. According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of brain injuries involve physical, psychological, sensory and cognitive effects. Signs of mild injuries include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Persistent headaches
- Blurred vision or difficulty hearing
- Loss of consciousness
- Difficulty remembering events
Mild brain damage may also cause changes in mood, depression, anxiety, fatigue or difficulty sleeping. Moderate to severe brain injuries may include seizures, convulsions, weakness and/or tingling in the extremities, slurred speech, confusion and dizziness.
It is important to seek medical attention immediately, as doctors can help prevent further damage.