According to the New Jersey Department of Transportation, there is an average of about 268,000 motor vehicle accidents in the state each year: over 730 per day. With this many crashes, it likely comes as no surprise that these events are among the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries.
Medline Plus states that a closed head injury can cause a concussion and is common from car accidents.
What are the symptoms?
Because every system in the body relies on the brain, a TBI can affect a person in a wide range of ways. Most people expect to suffer headaches, dizziness or confusion after a blow to the head. Memory loss and difficulty paying attention or processing information can make life difficult for many people with a TBI. They may also lose their sense of taste or smell, and the injury may also affect their hearing and vision.
Emotional and mental issues such as severe mood swings, irritability, anger, depression and anxiety often cause trouble for people after a TBI. They may have difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking or other changes in sleep patterns. Fatigue is also common.
Nerve damage may make it difficult to swallow, speak or breathe, and portions of the face may tingle or go numb. People may also suffer seizures, and severe TBI may cause coma, paralysis or death.
How is TBI diagnosed?
A health care provider usually performs an exam and uses tools such as the Glasgow Coma Scale to rate the damage. Imaging machines allow the doctor to gain a comprehensive view of the damage, such as skull fractures, torn blood vessels and bruised tissues. Many doctors will order a follow-up exam, even when the TBI is not severe, to ensure that there are no missed symptoms such as bleeding or swelling that could lead to further damage later.