Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) ?

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyers David Hollingsworth:  Is a concussion the same as a mild traumatic brain injury   (TBI) ?

This is a common question.  Most people believe that a concussion isn’t as serious and  symptoms will come and go quickly; whereas a mild traumatic brain injury is more severe and lasts longer. The truth is they are known as the same in that a concussion and a mild traumatic brain injury have same symptoms and can last a couple of days but may also extend and last a couple of years. Most people  recover from a concussion within a relatively short period of time; typically it ranges from a week to 3 months.  Concussions can also happen to anyone old or young and can result from all sorts of different activities including sports, falls, blows to the head etc..

We don’t know everything about concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries but we do know that the brain is made up of soft tissue and is surrounded by spinal fluid. The brain is protected (to some extent) by the skull. Inside the skull, the brain  moves about , sometimes hitting the skull. When the brain hits the inside of the skull it can become bruised, and may result in broken blood vessels, which results in injured  nerves and may lead to a concussion.

There are many ways  to grade or describe concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries. The severity of a concussion is determined by how long signs and symptoms last and so can only be known after someone has recovered. The longer the symptoms of changes in brain function, the more severe the concussion.

What causes the most confusion is the word “mild”. A mild traumatic brain injury can be anything but that. Up to 20% of people who suffer from a concussion suffer symptoms beyond the 3 month mark.  Everyone reacts differently to a concussion or MTBI ; however some common symptoms include:

  • post-traumatic headache
  • difficulty sleeping
  • problems with balance
  • dizziness
  • cognitive impairments
  • extreme fatigue
  • depression
  • anxiety

Often times, people with a concussion or mild traumatic brain injury seem perfectly fine ; however they are severely suffering on the inside and are unable to participate in everyday activities.   Often times people with a concussion or mTBI are unable to work, be social or participate in many day-to-day activities they once loved doing.

When it comes to children and concussions , it gets even trickier, as children often are not in tune with their symptoms and may not be communicating their symptoms. A child with an undiagnosed concussion can be at serious risk for brain damage or a disability. If a child sustains a head injury, it must be taken seriously.  In sports in particular, a doctor needs to examine the child and decide when it would be best to have the child return to sports. Regardless of whether or not the child lost consciousness or not, it’s vital that parents, caregivers and coaches are on high alert and watching  for symptoms. Head injuries take time to heal..Don’t rush it.

When it comes to concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries, we must be extra vigilant.  As an Ottawa injury lawyer, I meet regularly with people whose lives have been turned upside down due to a head injury. For some , life may never be the same again. For more information on head injuries, concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries , visit www.ottawainjury.ca/brain-injuries.

 

 


Ottawa injury lawyer discusses concussions in children and the signs, symptoms of a concussion.

Ottawa Head Injury Lawyer on concussions in children.

A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. With spring sports in full force, the incidence of child concussions is on the rise.   Head injuries in athletes during mainly sports; however children can also suffer serious concussions  from colliding with another child during play, car accidents and bicycle accidents and even minor falls. Typically children can recover from a concussion within a week or two without lasting health problems if they treat the concussion in a timely manner and properly by following certain precautions and taking a break from activities.

The severity of a concussion can be  determined by how long signs and symptoms can last and therefore  are only known when recovery has taken place. The longer the symptoms persist,  the more severe the concussions. More severe concussions or  undiagnosed concussions can cause brain damage or disability.

Treating a concussion is difficult and vague.  First and foremost, if you have a concussion or you think your child may have a concussion, you need to seek professional medical help immediately. One thing for sure is to REST. Anyone suffering a concussion needs  to remove themselves of any activities that could cause stress on the brain and try to avoid any sudden movements, impacts etc.

We know that the brain is made of soft tissue and is surrounded by spinal fluid, which is protected by our skulls.  Our brains  move around inside our skulls and can bang against our skulls. When the brain bangs against our skulls,  for example, due to a fall on a sidewalk or a whiplash-type of injury — it can be bruised, blood vessels are torn, and the nerves inside our brain become damaged. These injuries can lead to a concussion. There are many signs and symptoms of a concussion.

In a previous post I outlined the most common signs and symptoms of a concussion . Typically most concussion symptoms may appear initially and  develop over the first 24-72 hours.  Children can experience  the same concussion symptoms as older kids and even as adults. This is why it is imperative to have treatment for a concussion as soon as possible after the injury has occurred. If your child is sleepy, let them sleep; however , call 9-1-1 immediately after a head injury if your child can’t be woken up.

Most concussions in children will heal quickly however some symptoms including memory loss, headaches, and problems with concentration  may linger for several weeks or even months.  As a parent or caregiver, it’s critical to watch for these symptoms and contact your doctor if they persist. A concussion injury is not to be taken lightly and must be treated properly. If in doubt contact a doctor or qualified health professional immediately. If your concussion is from a motor vehicle accident or a slip and fall accident, you may be entitled to compensation.


What are the signs and symptoms of a concussion? Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa Personal Injury Lawyer…What are the signs of a concussion?  There are many different signs and symptoms of a concussion. Some are obvious and others  subtle.  Some conscussion signs may appear immediately and others may not be for days or even months. 

The most common signs of a concussion are headache, amnesia, confusion or loss of consciousness.

Other signs and symptoms of a concussion include:

  • headache or pressure in the head
  • slurred speech
  • loss of consciousness
  • confusion
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • fatigue
  • no recollection of event
  • dizziness or blurred vision
  • “ringing” in the ears

Often times, after an injury signs appear later on. Often times people with a concussion may exhibit:

  • difficulty with concentration and memory
  • irritability and personality changes
  • eyes and ears are sensitive to light and noise
  • difficulty sleeping
  • depression
  • tastebuds and smell are off

Symptoms of a child concussion
Head trauma or concussions are particularly hard to identify in young children,  infants and toddlers because they have difficulty communicating how they feel.

Typical signs of a concussion in a child

  • tires easily
  • irritable or cranky
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • uninterested
  • loss of balance

It is always best to have your child checked by a doctor if you suspect they may have a head injury.  Because their skulls are so soft and developing, there is a greater chance of a severe head injury occurring.  If your child is alert, moves normally and is able to respond, the head injury is probably mild and typically will heal.  If this is the case with your child and they are tired it’s OK to let them sleep. If worrisome signs develop later and you are worried, then bring them immedicately to your doctor or emergency facility.

Bring your child immediately for emergency help if you suspect a head injury and they are exhibiting the following signs:

  • vomiting
  • continued persistance of a headache
  • changes in behavior displaying irritability
  • changes in physical coordination, including stumbling or clumsiness
  • confusion: does no’t know day,events etc…
  • slurred speech
  • dilated or uneven pupils
  • difficulty breathing
  • lasting or recurrent dizziness
  • discharge from nose or ears
  • large head bumps or bruises
  • loss of consciousness ( more than a minute)
  • repeated vomiting
  • seizures
  • symptoms that worsen over time

Concussions and sports injury
If you have injured yourself and suspect you have a head injury , you should absolutely allow yourself to rest. Avoid playing sports or vigorous activity while signs or symptoms of a concussion are present. It is recommended that people who suspect they have a concussion should return to their sporting activity until a doctor has given them the “green light”.

—-The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog is written regularly by Ottawa Ontario personal injury lawyer David Hollingsworth. The Ottawa Injury Lawyer Blog reports on accidents in eastern Ontario, personal injury issues, local Ottawa news and events and various news that relates to Ottawa, accidents and personal injury. Visit  www.ottawainjury.ca for more information. If you have a subject  you would like to know about or  if you have a question,  please call or email me: david@ottawainjury.ca (613) 978-9549

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Signs of a concussion, symptoms of a concussion, head injury signs