Introduction to Brain Injuries (following an Accident)
It is estimated that 25% of all brain injuries are sustained in a road traffic accident due to the mechanisms of force applied to the brain during such accidents.
According to Headway, it is estimated the 1 million people attend hospital in the UK following a head injury. But many go unreported and are not assessed. Approximately 85% of traumatic brain injuries are classified as minor, 10% as moderate and 5% as severe.
This means of those 250,000 people suffer from a brain injury each year following an accident.
However, in 2012 only 203,950 Road Traffic Accidents were reported to the police. Of those reported to the Police 1,901 were killed, 23,122 were seriously injured and 178,927 were slightly injured.
Indicators of a brain injury will be found mainly within the medical records of the victim and will include the following:
- Glasgow Coma Scale <15 at any time since the accident
- Loss of consciousness
- Focal Neurological deficit
- Persistent headaches
- Any vomiting since the accident
- Seizure since the accident
- Irritability or altered behaviour
- Suspicion of skull fracture or penetrating head injury since the injury (eg. Clear fluid from the ears or nose, black eye with no associated damage around the eyes, bleeding from one or more ears, new deafness in one or both ears, bruising behind one or both ears
- Visible trauma to head
After a head injury, the healthcare professionals use the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to assess how severely your brain has been damaged. The GCS scores you on:
- Your verbal responses (whether you can may noise)
- Your physical reflexes (whether you can move)
- How easily you can open your eyes
Your scores for each of these areas are added up to give a total which will assist in the diagnosis of a brain injury.
Often a neuropsychological assessment is recommended but sometimes the symptoms can be missed or come on after you have been discharged from Hospital and so it is vital that you and your loved ones know what symptoms to look out for. If you or anyone you know has suffered from symptoms number 2-9 above, following an accident then please seek immediate medical attention.
Keep an eye out for our next instalment of advice regarding Catastrophic and/or Brain Injuries following an accident…
If you would like further advice, please do not hesitate to contact Miss Alisha Ward at Hampson Hughes Solicitors on 0800 888 6888. She will be happy to discuss matter with you further. Alisha can also be emailed directly