The link between motor vehicle accidents and serious injuries is indisputable, but how can victims of car crashes in Illinois know when that bump on the head is a serious one?
In 2013, the CDC reports, individuals between the ages of 15 and 44 who spent time in the hospital for a traumatic brain injury were more likely to have sustained the injury in a car accident than by any other means. In fact, that year motor vehicle accidents ranked third among the leading causes for both hospital visits and deaths due to traumatic brain injuries.
Recognize the signs of TBI
The Mayo Clinic reminds readers that even if a driver’s head does not crash against a window during a collision, violent shaking or sudden jolts can be enough to cause a TBI. Recognizing the signs of injury is an important step toward getting needed treatment.
The Mayo Clinic describes some of those signs:
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Momentary lapses of consciousness
- Ringing in one or both ears
- Sensitivity to loud noise and bright light
The clinic advises additional symptoms may include trouble with balance and coordination as well as focus and memory. While some signs of TBI are immediately evident, others are not. When they do show up, complications may include lingering headaches and dizziness to go along with the difficulties in concentration and memory.
Follow the protocol: rest
The Mayo Clinic stresses resting the brain as the best way to help it recover. Physical rest and mental rest for the body’s neurological center means napping often and limiting any activity that requires mental intensity.
The clinic advises that even movie watching and reading, go-to relaxation options for many, should be kept in check. Students might require shorter days at school, and employees might consider negotiating a lighter work schedule until the symptoms subside. Following the doctor’s instructions for gradually returning to activity is advisable.