When Should I Seek Medical Attention for a Head Injury?
Head injuries are the cause of almost 250,000 US hospital admissions and an estimated 50,000 deaths every year. Car accidents and sports injuries are to blame for almost 90% of head injuries. In many cases, there are others involved in the cause of your accident; seeking the help of an experienced head injury lawyer will greatly impact your ability to receive compensation for your losses.
It is important to understand that a head injury can be classified as minor or major. A minor head injury is typically a sports related concussion, a jarring of the brain inside the skull that causes a temporary loss of mental function. There is a list of seven symptoms that doctors look for to determine whether a person needs a CT scan; if the symptoms are not present a doctor may choose not to order a scan. The CT scan, however, is the most prominent way to show internal bleeding (epidural hematoma) or swelling and determine whether a head injury is major or minor.
Symptoms that often Prompt a CT Scan:
3. Short term memory loss
4. Head injury combined with patient intoxication
6. Physical evidence of trauma to the head or neck
7. Head injury to patients over age 60
Major head injuries can cause long term brain damage or even death and should be treated immediately.
Major Head Injuries
It is important to understand that the initial blow to the head may not seem that traumatic and the person may not even lose consciousness. After a major head injury, there can be a period of lucidity followed by major symptoms of trauma. The death rates from a major head injury vary widely from 5% to 40% depending on the health and age of the patient.
Signs that a Head Injury is Very Serious and Requires Emergency Treatment:
- Changes in size of pupils or blurred vision
- Clear or bloody fluid draining from the nose, mouth, or ears
- Distorted facial features
- A serious drop in blood pressure or ability to breathe
- Bruising or fracture of the face or skull
- Loss of hearing, smell, taste, or vision
- Inability to move one or more limbs
- Loss of consciousness
- Restlessness, clumsiness, or lack of coordination
- Severe headache
- Slurred speech
- Stiff neck or vomiting
- Sudden worsening of symptoms after initial improvement
- Swelling at the site of the injury
Because the injured person may be experiencing loss of consciousness or confusion and blurred thinking, they are not likely the best candidate to decide whether they need medical care. Friends and family should bear in mind that if a person is not acting like themselves after a blow to the head then medical attention should be sought immediately.
When a brain injury occurs, a person is most likely to have a good outcome when they are able to maintain consciousness; a coma is often a bad sign. Even when a person receives appropriate treatment, there are no guarantees about recovery from a head injury.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!