Is a Concussion Considered a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A concussion is a brain injury that occurs when a violent blow or jolt hits the head and causes the brain to strike against the inside of the skull. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), concussions can damage brain cells and lead to dangerous chemical changes within the brain. But is there a difference between a concussion and a traumatic brain injury (TBI)? Learn how to distinguish between this terminology below.
And remember, if you have been injured in an accident you did not cause, chances are you are entitled to legal compensation from the responsible party. Stokes Stemle, LLC, is here to make sure you understand your legal rights and help you pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us at (334) 234-3008 or reach out online to schedule your free case review today.
Distinguishing Between Concussions and TBIs
Understandably, some people wonder whether there is a difference between TBIs and concussions. The difference is somewhat vague. TBIs are a broader category than concussions, which are really just a mild form of brain injury. That said, when it comes to injuries to an organ as vital as the brain, “mild” does not mean that they should not be taken seriously.
Concussions can lead to significant short- and long-term effects on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Common symptoms of concussions include:
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of memory
- Trouble concentrating
- Mood swings
- Difficulty balancing
- Blurry vision
To illustrate more by way of comparison, symptoms of severe TBIs may include:
- Persistent headaches
- Chronic neck pain
- Persistent loss of consciousness
- Convulsions or seizures
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness at the extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Prolonged confusion, restlessness, or agitation
- Dilated or uneven pupils
Ultimately, whether a concussion has crossed the line towards becoming a more serious kind of TBI is really a matter of degrees. In all cases, injuries to the brain can lead to serious consequences and should be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for diagnosing concussions. Every brain injury is unique, so doctors must conduct comprehensive assessments to determine the extent and severity of any given injury.
Assessments begin by evaluating a patient’s reported symptoms — are they experiencing things like headaches, nausea, or sensitivity to light? Doctors then evaluate the patient’s vital signs, reflexes, balance, coordination, and memory. Two popular methods used to evaluate brain injuries are the Ranchos Los Amigos Scale and the Glasgow Coma Scale.
If more information is needed, a doctor might also order an imaging test, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan or computerized tomography (CT) scan. These tests can reveal bleeding or swelling in the brain. Testing can also provide data to evaluate mental functions, such as concentration and memory.
Depending on the severity of a concussion, doctors sometimes recommend rest and limited physical activity until symptoms disappear. They might also prescribe anti-inflammatory or seizure control medications in moderate to severe TBI cases. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary.
Consult With Our Experienced Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
No matter how serious, if you suffered a brain injury in an accident you did not cause, you may be entitled to compensation from the responsible party. At Stokes Stemle, LLC, we proudly fight for the rights of injury victims throughout Alabama. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys are here to make sure you understand your full legal rights and options. Reach out to us online to schedule your free case review today.