Most concussions aren’t substantial and result in only mild symptoms that go away quickly. However, some lead to traumatic brain injury that can impact patients for years down the line.
What is a TBI and how does it happen?
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any injury or damage to the brain that’s caused by an impact or jolt to the head. Hitting your head on the sidewalk, playing a sports game or even getting punched in the face can all lead to a TBI.
TBI can range from mild to severe. A mild TBI will look like an average concussion while severe TBI could require medical intervention.
How to recognize a severe TBI
Mild injuries will just require rest and maybe medication as if you had a really bad headache. It can be hard to diagnose TBIs without medical evaluation, but you might be able to tell if a hospital trip is necessary by observing what happens right after the initial impact.
Confusion is the most common symptom after any head injury. However, if the confusion lasts several hours, it might be a severe TBI.
It’s safe to say that any loss in consciousness lasting 20 minutes or longer should be treated as a severe TBI. You should seek immediate medical attention.
What to do if you have a TBI
It’s important to document everything and get to a hospital as soon as possible if you suspect that you have a TBI. A severe TBI can leave the patient with long-lasting injuries and impact their cognitive ability. If someone is diagnosed with severe TBI after a head injury, the hospital can discuss all treatment options and provide lifesaving measures.