What is a traumatic brain injury and how is it diagnosed?


With a recent rash of serious car crashes and with school football season now in session, I thought it important for my readers to know what a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is, and how it is diagnosed.

Definition of a traumatic brain injury

A TBI, as I have explained in a previous article, is a dysfunction of the brain, and can be caused by a sudden jolt, a violent blow to the head or body, or caused by an object that penetrates the brain, like a bullet.

TBIs vary in intensity. It is a complex injury with a wide spectrum of symptoms and disabilities. For example, a mild concussion is sometimes considered a mild traumatic brain injury, and normally a fully recovery can be expected. Those with more severe traumatic brain injuries can be disabled for life, or die as a consequence.

Three main causes of TBI

There are three main causes of TBIs.

  • Open Head Injuries: There is penetration through the skull, like a bullet wound.
  • Closed Head Injuries: There is no penetration through the skull and the injury occurs in a specific location. Can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a sports injury, a slip and fall, etc.
  • Sudden Deceleration Injuries: These occur when a person is subjected to a sudden slowing down of their body. In a head-on car accident, for example, the skull moves through space and when there is a sudden discontinuation of this movement, it causes the brain to move inside the skull. The skull is hard and the brain is soft, so a traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain hits the skull. The injuries can occur in several different parts of the brain.
  • Other causes of TBIs include strokes, infections, tumors, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), and chemical and/or toxic exposure.

How a traumatic brain injury is diagnosed

When a person is in an accident, there may be several life-threatening injuries and the focus can be on lifesaving measures. Nonetheless, for anyone suspected of having a traumatic brain injury, even from what seems like a minor accident, early diagnosis is essential.

The following are several methods of diagnosis.

  • A detailed neurological examination
  • Brain imaging (CAT scan, MRI, PET, etc.)
  • Cognitive evaluation by a neuropsychologist with formal neuropsychological testing
  • Evaluations of physical, occupational and speech therapists

TBI can be devastating to its victims and their families, so a quick diagnosis is essential. Even a mild brain concussion can lead to a serious medical condition. A diagnosis may prevent further brain injury. The faster the better.

If you have any questions about traumatic brain injuries, please call me. Consultations are always free.

Please share this article if you think it would be of help to others. Thank you.

For other areas of personal injury law, please see my other articles at http://blog.petermillerlaw.com.

If you have any questions about this article or any area of personal injury law, please refer to the contact info below.

Contact Information:

The Law Offices of Peter Miller

1601 S. Broadway

Little Rock, AR 72206

Phone: 501-374-6300

Email:   pmiller@petermillerlaw.com

Website: http://www.petermillerlaw.com

The content of this blog was prepared by the Law Offices of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.

Photo courtesy of gwolters@canstockphoto.com

Source: www.traumaticbraininjury.com

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