How many times have you accused someone of being dropped on their head when they were a baby? While the question may be somewhat humorous when it is asked, it plays to the reality that injuries to the brain are of the most serious kind.. Given the fact that the brain is the most complex organ of the human body it is wise to know what symptoms to watch for to eliminate possible injuries, especially after an accident.
What constitutes an accident?
As one of the most complex organs, the brain can suffer trauma in several ways. While understanding what an accident is may be easy, delineating what types of accidents can affect the brain is much more difficult. It may even be difficult to determine if the accident caused a brain injury or if a brain injury caused the accident. A reduction in oxygen to the brain through a reduced supply of blood can cause fainting and cause an accident. Indeed, fainting behind the wheel of a car will lead to an accident that may result in lacerations to the head that may mask the original injuries. To adequately evaluate an injury after an accident it is crucial for the medical personnel to have a clear picture of the events leading up to it in order to effectively triage the situation and correctly diagnose/treat the patient. When attempting to ascertain the extent of injuries to the head or correctly applying treatment getting the facts is vital.
The immediate action on the scene of an accident is always to call for help and to try not to make the situation worse. Often with accidents the injured person wants to get up and walk around without any professional medical recommendation to do so. In many states, a Good Samaritan can be held liable for rendering aid that results in injuries to accident victims and for this reason it is wise to listen very carefully to 911 operators and emergency personnel. If you find yourself on the scene of an accident with casualties and an immediate need for help is observed, try to calm down the injured person and have them sit with their head above their heart. Look closely at their head for any lacerations, listen for slurred speech, and watch their eyes for any abnormalities which may include dilated pupils, droopy eyelids, double vision, or complaints of blurred vision. Other physiological symptoms could include muscle spasms, blood coming out of ears, nose or mouth, difficulty breathing, headaches/migraines, skewed sensory perceptions and accelerated heart-rate. While an accelerated heart rate is to be expected and in and of itself is not worrisome, an elevated heart rate can be indicative of other issues. When the human body sustains high-velocity impacts to tissue bruising can cause clots that may cause an aneurism in the brain.
Nature of Brain injuries
There are other types of symptoms besides physiological. The person can become emotionally erratic, moody, and aggressive. Without personal knowledge of the personality of the individual it may be difficult to assess abnormal behavior, but some things that may be indicative of an injury would be incoherent speech, babbling, disorganized nonsensical behavior, and absurd conversations. The reality is that there are essentially three types of symptoms: physiological, emotional, and psychological. Consider the term clinical depression. When someone is suffering from severe depression for a long time, it will alter the chemical process of the brain and require medication to counteract the imbalances in the brains chemistry. An accident can cause immediate damage through lacerations that will permanently damage tissue, and an individual may never be “right” again. One of the lessons taught in the military for field medics and reinforced in the civilian medical field is never to provide any sort of pain killers at the scene of an accident. A medical professional will use the pain to determine the extent of the damage, and pain medicines tend to mask the symptoms of injuries and that delay in diagnosis can be fatal.
If you are unfortunate enough to have been dropped on your head as a baby, it is likely that all this information is useless and a bit too late. If you are one of the lucky ones who survived life without ever bumping your noggin then keep in mind the seriousness of injuries to the head that can come from problems anywhere in the body. A blood clot in a bruise from anywhere in the system goes to the brain more often than people realize and the result is very often immediate death. Whatever the injury in your body, it is wise always to pay attention to your body when it is talking to you!
About the author:
The author, Ray Donato, is an Orlando resident and EMT who has seen his share of brain injury cases at many crash sites. He also frequently has to deal with a number of attornies to provide details relating to personal injury claims. Of those he has dealt with, the one he enjoys working with the most is David R. Heil. You can learn more about Ray on Google+