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Head Injuries Are Not Always Dramatic

Brain injuries – whether caused by car accidents, boating accidents, pedestrian accidents, or other incidents – can be serious or mild. Some people sustain trauma to the head and experience nothing more serious than a brief bump. Others find that brain injury leads to permanent injury or even death. Obviously, the force of impact is an important indicator of how serious an injury is. The place where impact takes place can also determine the severity of a head injury – blunt force to the temples, for example, very often leads to serious injury or fatalities.

To make matters more confusing, some brain injury victims seem perfectly fine after a head injury. Some walk away from an accident, thinking that there is nothing wrong and are later rushed to the hospital with a serious brain injury. Just because a brain injury is not dramatic, that does not make it a minor or insignificant injury.

Determining whether a brain injury is serious or not is difficult. It is useful to know the symptoms of a concussion. These symptoms include:

1) Confusion or disorientation.
2) Headache.
3) Nausea or vomiting.
4) Memory loss.
5) Vision problems.
6) Problems talking.
7) Balance problems.

Anyone with these symptoms should get medical help right away.

If someone is having more subtle symptoms, however, it can be more difficult to determine what to do. A good rule of thumb is: have every good bump on the head checked out as soon as possible. If someone is experiencing loss of consciousness, a headache, vision problems, slurred speech and other problems described above, contact your emergency hospital room or call for emergency help. If someone has sustained a serious bump on the head, go to an after-hours clinic or a doctor immediately for an evaluation. Some people do not develop symptoms for a few hours after an injury and then suddenly are in a critical medical situation. Getting help promptly can help save a life.
If you are not sure whether your head injury is an emergency or not but have at least one symptom, get immediate help. Of the approximately 1.7 million Americans who visit emergency rooms for head injuries annually, 90% are found to have concussions. If you think you might have a concussion you might. Even if you do not, it is better to be safe than sorry. If you feel uncomfortable visiting your local emergency room because you are not showing many of the symptoms of a concussion, call your doctor’s office and explain your situation. You doctor may make room in his or her schedule to see you the same day or may direct you to the emergency room.