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Delayed Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injuries

Posted on May 26, 2024 in

Traumatic brain injuries regularly lead to lasting disabilities, but a victim’s prognosis is much better when they receive prompt medical care. Unfortunately, several signs and symptoms of brain injuries are commonly delayed, sometimes even hours after the initial impact occurs. This can lead to delayed medical treatment.

Understanding Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can occur in a variety of ways, but almost always happens when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. This can happen during a fall, car accident, sports activity, or any incident that involves a sharp blow or jolt to the head. Our brains are surrounded by fluid inside the skull (which provides much-needed cushioning for the brain), and a violent impact can cause it to collide against the skull’s interior, leading to bruising, bleeding, or tearing of brain tissue.

Why Symptoms May Be Delayed

The brain is a complex organ encased within the rigid confines of the skull. When the brain swells or bleeds, the rigid skull limits the space for the expanded tissue, which may delay the onset of symptoms. Initial symptoms might be subtle and not immediately recognized as signs of a severe condition. This symptom delay can be critical as the brain continues to suffer damage.

Signs and Symptoms to Watch For

Delayed symptoms of a brain injury can vary widely among individuals but typically include the following:

  • Cognitive difficulties. Trouble with memory, concentration, or finding the right words. Victims may find it hard to think clearly or perform once routine tasks.
  • Physical changes. Persistent or worsening headaches, dizziness, blurred vision, nausea, or vomiting occur well after the initial injury.
  • Sleep disturbances. Changes in sleep patterns (even subtle changes). This can include sleeping more than usual or having difficulty sleeping, which are indicative of potential brain injuries.
  • Behavioral changes. Mood swings, irritability, or a personality change can be some of the most concerning signs of a TBI. Loved ones may notice the individual seems “off” or not themselves.
  • Sensory problems. Sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision, or ear ringing can also indicate TBI. Some may experience a foul taste in the mouth or changes in the ability to smell.
  • Physical impairment. Issues with coordination, weakness or numbness in fingers and toes, and slurred speech are critical symptoms that require immediate attention.

The Importance of Monitoring Symptoms

If you or someone you know has experienced a head injury, even if it seems minor, it is crucial to monitor any emerging symptoms closely. What might seem like a mild issue could worsen, indicating more severe internal damage.

Seeking Medical Attention

Any delay in treating a brain injury can increase the risk of permanent damage. If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, especially if they appear or worsen days after an accident, seek medical attention immediately. A healthcare professional can assess the situation through physical examinations and imaging tests like MRIs or CT scans to understand the extent of the injury.

Should You Contact an Attorney

If a brain injury results from someone else’s negligence—whether in a car accident, at work, or in any other scenario—you might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Consulting with a skilled and experienced Stratford personal injury attorney can help you navigate the complexities of such claims and secure the compensation necessary for recovery.