Dispelling Common Myths about Traumatic Brain Injuries

The human brain is a marvel. Everyday it seems science is discovering more about how our brains develop, function over our lifetime, and heal from injury. Despite all these advances, traumatic brain injuries are still often misunderstood.

Discoveries about the science of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are occurring every day. Yet, there are many misconceptions still out there. Here are a few to be aware of:

1. A mild TBI doesn’t do any permanent damage.
This statement is false. Studies have shown that one year after a TBI, 10% to 15% of TBI patients haven’t fully recovered. Some victims find that they even have more symptoms later than they had with the initial injury.

After sustaining a traumatic brain injury, the victim may experience marked changes in attention, memory, cognition or information processing. Everyone experiences these types of injuries differently; some may only have one or two symptoms, while others may have all of them. The average time for recovery is twelve weeks. However, some people will recover at a much slower pace, and some people may never recover completely.

2. The symptoms of a TBI will be immediate.
Many people are surprised to learn that if you are in an injury accident, the symptoms of a brain injury may not appear immediately. A few days after a car accident for instance, a victim may start noticing problems concentrating or paying attention once they get back to their daily routine. More serious symptoms may continue to manifest over the next few weeks.

3. Standard medical imaging tests are conclusive.
With all the sophisticated testing available today, one would think that these types of injuries would be visible on a CT scan or other diagnostic test. Neurologists are now aware that these injuries may not be detectable from standard imaging tests. It is not unusual for a patient to have very clear symptoms of a TBI and a negative medical test.

4. You must be knocked unconscious to have a brain injury.
Interestingly, only 10% of TBI patients experience a loss of consciousness. So, if you or a loved one suffer a blow to the head, but remained conscious, bear in mind that a TBI is still a possibility. Also remember that some individuals don’t even realize they had a loss of consciousness until a witness to their injury reports that they appeared to be unconscious for a period of time.

5. A TBI is always caused by a blow to the head.
People are surprised to learn that violent movements of the head and neck are sufficient to cause a TBI. This type of injury can happen where the neck receives severe trauma, such as with whiplash. When whiplash occurs, the head violently moves forward and then backwards. The rapid deceleration of the head causes the brain to hit the front and/or back parts of the skull, which often results in a TBI.

What Should I Do?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious head or neck injury due to an accident, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible, whether you are experiencing symptoms or not. A physician can use a variety of tests to help determine if you could have a TBI including:

  • Glasgow Coma Scale;
  • Speech and language tests; and
  • Various imaging tests.

If your injury was due to the negligence of another, please call us for guidance. We understand the difficulty you may have if you were injured due to the carelessness of someone else… You may be contending with your injuries, unable to work and at the same time watching the medical bills mount. We are here to help. Call us at 913-839-2808 for a free consultation.