The brain is the most fragile part of your body. Car accidents result in head injuries that cause damage to the scalp, skull, or brain caused by trauma. Injuries after a car accident often don’t appear until a few days afterward. When you go through a traumatic experience like an auto accident, you may struggle to figure out what to do next.
The cities of Austin and San Antonio in Texas provide you with highly trained and skilled doctors that are experts in detecting and diagnosing these kinds of injuries. Spine health you with quality medical care right away.
What happens during a car accident, and what kind of doctor should you see after being in a car accident?
As a result of a car accident, your adrenaline rushes as the brain reacts to the situation. It can be overwhelming and distract you from any pain you might experience at that time as a result of injury. Therefore, for mild injuries, it might take some time for you to realize and identify them. The hidden injuries may lead to further complications if delayed. That is why no matter how severe or minor a car accident is, you should always make sure to get evaluated and seek medical attention by a car accident injury doctor as early as possible. Even if you feel no pain, it’s still essential to get a medical evaluation within 72 hours of the crash. According to Samuel Dordulian, car accident lawyer in Los Angeles, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI-related death for children and young adults ages 5-24 years. There were about 61,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States in 2019. That’s about 166 TBI-related deaths every day.
Classification of Head Injury
For better understanding, doctors classify head injuries based on three primary categories:
It includes closed or penetrating types of injuries. A closed head injury is any head injury that doesn’t rupture your skull, whereas a penetrating or open head injury happens when something breaks through your skull and endangers your brain.
Morphology helps to understand any fractures, focal intracranial injury, and diffuse intracranial injury of the head.
It shows how mild, moderate, or severe an injury is.
Types and Symptoms
There are many types of head injuries and can have a wide range of physical and psychological effects. But the most common ones include:
1. Traumatic Brain Injury
Head injury that affects the brain regards to a traumatic brain injury or TBI. It is usually the outcome of a violent jolt to the head and is the most leading form of brain injury. TBI impacts approximately two million Americans per year. Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More severe traumatic brain injuries can cause swelling, bleeding, and other physical damage to the brain. These can result in long-term complications or death. Some signs may appear immediately after the traumatic event, while others may appear days later.
- Sensory problems such as blurred vision or ringing in the ears
- Short term memory loss (dementia)
- Loss of balance
- Severe headaches
- Problem in speech
- Dizziness (vertigo)
- If the damage is severe, then a person may go into a coma.
A concussion occurs due to a sudden change in momentum, such as during a car crash. It is also known as a mild traumatic brain injury. The following are some symptoms of concussions and minor head injuries:
- Amnesia (temporary loss of memory)
- Blurry vision
- And emotional imbalances
- Hard time concentrating or confusion
Coup-Countercoup, also known as a contusion, is a type of injury that occurs when the brain jerks suddenly within the skull. It causes bruising of the brain followed by swelling (edema) and pressure buildup in your brain. It is a common cause of traffic automobile accidents in which the affliction occurs to either area under direct impact or damage to both sides of the brain. Symptoms of raised pressure within the head involve:
- Aphasia (deficits in communication and language)
- Memory loss
- Dilated pupils
- Low pulse rate
- Abnormal breathing
4. Skull Fracture
A powerful blow to the head breaks the scalp and damages the cranial bone. In most cases, the damage can penetrate the brain.
However, symptoms that can indicate a skull fracture consist of:
- Ears or nostrils bleeding
- Swelling and tenderness
- Skull deformation and bruises on the face
5. Brain Hemorrhage and Hematoma
Blood vessels of the brain rupture due to extreme impact on the brain, therefore cause bleeding within the brain. It is a life-threatening condition and may require the urgent attention of a neurosurgeon. Blood may also naturally stop the bleeding by collecting in the form of a clot called a hematoma. The clotting might grow large and compress the brain. Symptoms of bleeding in the brain can also appear suddenly. These include:
- Severe headaches
- Lethargy and numbness
- Unclear vision
6. Diffuse axonal injury or DAI
It is the shearing and stretching of the nerve cells to their extent. In a car accident, this type of injury can occur when the vehicle stops and the brain abruptly bounces violently inside the brain box that is the skull. It disrupts the communication between the brain and the rest of the body. DAI, also known as shearing injury, commonly occurs in high-speed car accidents. Shearing injury is one of the most dangerous kinds of head injuries that result in prolonged loss of consciousness and can be fatal.
The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) is one of the first methods the doctor can use to examine your head injury. Along with running a few physical know-how tests, neurologic exams, and standard imaging tests such as:
- MRI and CT scans
- MRS scan
Additionally, ICP monitoring measures the pressure inside your head by using a small pressure-sensitive probe that goes through the skull.
Head Injury Treatment
The consequences of head injury treatment vary depending on how severe the damage is. Car accident injury doctors firmly believe that physical therapy or chiropractic treatment will help the patient significantly. Austin and San Antonio are the two cities that are at an advantage for this reason as they offer a team of car accident doctors that include primary care, chiropractic care, neurologists, orthopedists, and pain management doctors. All are highly skilled and knowledgeable on how to provide high-quality services for those who suffer from any car accident injury.
Furthermore, seeking the attention of a personal injury doctor who fully understands your situation is much beneficial. The job of these doctors is to help people immediately after an accident, leaving you in good hands.
A few traumatic head injury treatment options include the use of:
- Medications for sedation and pain, controlling intracranial pressure, preventing seizures and infections
- A variety of foods to assist in the recovery include vegetables, fruits, grains, lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy products. Drinking the required amount of water is as beneficial as any of the food intake.
- For exceptional cases, the neurosurgeon may have to perform surgery to remove a hematoma or repair the cranial bone.
- Most patients get discharged from clinical care when the underlying conditions stabilize. You most likely need rehabilitation to regain complete brain functionality if you have had a severe injury. Head injury rehabilitation serves aspects including communication skills, psychological counseling, and regaining Mobility.
Car accident specialists have years of experience dealing with auto accident injuries that may not be familiar to a general physician. For exceptional cases, enrolling in an emergency can save time and perform checkups right away.