A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fact, it is the most commonly diagnosed traumatic brain injury. TBIs such as concussions are caused by impacts to the head and skull, such as a bump, jolt or blow. When blunt force trauma disrupts normal brain function, it is referred to as a TBI. If you have been diagnosed with a concussion, it is important to take this diagnosis seriously, as suffering multiple concussions in rapid succession can lead to severe and even deadly consequences.
How Dangerous Is a Concussion?
A concussion is often referred to as a mild traumatic brain injury. However, there are levels to this injury – mild, moderate and severe. A severe concussion could have accompanying brain injuries, such as swelling or bleeding in the brain, that make the damage more severe for the victim. For the most part, however, a concussion does not inflict permanent injury to the brain or lasting brain damage.
Most concussions are not life-threatening. This does not mean that you should not take these injuries seriously, however. The symptoms and effects of a concussion can significantly impact a victim’s life. Common symptoms associated with concussions include headache, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, nausea, slurred speech, confusion, memory loss, convulsions or seizures, and loss of consciousness.
What Are Common Causes of Concussions?
In Kansas City, Missouri, concussion risks can be around every corner. It does not take a severe accident to cause a concussion. Hitting your head in what seems like a minor incident, such as falling in the grocery store or being struck with a baseball, could cause this type of mild brain injury. Certain circumstances, accidents and activities have an increased risk of concussions:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle or pedestrian accidents
- Slip, trip and fall accidents
- Work accidents
- Recreational activities
- Contact sports, such as tackle football
- Sports with pucks, balls and other projectiles
- Diving accidents
- Struck-by falling object
- Acts of violence or assault
- Physical fights or abuse
It is important to always go to a doctor after hitting your head in any type of accident or activity, as you may have suffered a concussion. Although the treatments for a concussion are often minimal, such as a proper diet and bed rest, it is important to know if you have a concussion so that you can be extra cautious until you heal. If you suffer multiple concussions in a short period of time, you could end up with a severe or even fatal brain injury.
Can Repeated Concussions Cause Long-Term Damage to the Brain?
Yes. While a single concussion may be viewed as a mild brain injury that is not life-threatening, the same cannot be said of repeated concussions. Science has shown a connection between dangerous progressive brain diseases, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and repetitive brain injuries. Professional football players are especially at risk of CTE, as they are often sent back into play before their first concussions have healed.
Repetitive brain injuries that do not allow the brain to heal can cause permanent damage to its cells, tissues and neurocognitive abilities. This can result in various health problems and medical conditions, including Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s. The effects of repeated concussions can include personality and behavioral changes, depression, anger and outbursts, and memory loss. Sadly, the effects of repetitive brain injuries are typically irreversible.
Another risk of multiple concussions is second-impact syndrome. This syndrome can be difficult to predict, as it does not always occur. When it does, however, it can be deadly. Second-impact syndrome causes rapid swelling in the brain shortly after the second concussion. This can result in pressure against the brain, brain herniation and death. It is important to always see a doctor and follow your treatment plan exactly if you are diagnosed with a concussion.
In the event that you are suffering from long-term effects of concussions caused from an accident or negligence, our Kansas City traumatic brain injury attorneys can help injured victims recover compensation for pain and suffering.