Motor vehicle collisions cause a broad range of injuries and are also a common cause of death for people of all ages, including infants. Some crash injuries are dramatic and require immediate medical attention. Other injuries are hard for people to diagnose without professional help.
Brain injuries are among the most serious medical conditions that can be hard for people to identify after a car crash. The broad range of symptoms possible and the long time it sometimes takes for someone to exhibit symptoms can make it hard for people to recognize when they have a traumatic brain injury (TBI) after a car crash. These are some of the common warning signs that let people know they should seek medical evaluation for a possible TBI in the wake of a collision.
1. A loss of consciousness
Sometimes, an individual who suffers blunt force trauma to the head will lose consciousness and not regain it for some time. However, it is quite common for those who have just suffered a brain injury to only black out for a few moments. Even if someone wakes back up a few seconds after losing consciousness, they are at elevated risk of having a brain injury.
2. Memory and cognitive issues
Some of the best-known brain injury symptoms include cognitive symptoms that affect how someone thinks. A sense of feeling mentally foggy or of persistent confusion can sometimes occur after a car crash. People may also experience memory issues. They may have a harder time recalling information they knew well before or difficulty recalling anything that has happened since the collision. Changes in how someone thinks or remembers can be a warning sign of a brain injury.
3. Sensory changes
Some of the most energy-intensive functions the brain performs involve analyzing sensory information. Brain injuries sometimes result in ringing in the ears, blurry vision and even people noticing changes in their sense of smell and taste. Some people also notice motor function issues, ranging from changes in fine motor control to problems retaining their balance.
Symptoms can sometimes take several days or even weeks to develop, which means that those involved in high-speed collisions, especially if they hit their head, will need to monitor themselves closely for warning signs of injury. Knowing how to screen oneself for serious medical issues can help to protect those who have recently been involved in a car crash, but seeking prompt medical attention is almost always a good idea.