Less than 5% of the brain is understood. Diagnosis of a brain injury is often not straightforward and does not always occur in the days or weeks after the accident
What is a brain injury?
You can have a head injury (a cut or a bump) without suffering a brain injury. There are different types of brain injury:
- Closed or blunt head injury - e.g. a blow to the head causing localised damage to a small area of the brain
- Open or penetrating - e.g. where the skull is fractured
- Acceleration or deceleration injury - e.g. a rear shunt collision which can cause nerve fibres or blood vessels to be torn.
- Oxygen starvation e.g. through heavy bleeding or difficulty breathing after a serious accident.
- Post concessional syndrome e.g. after a minor head injury or concussion, the effects can continue beyond the normal relatively short recovery period.
How do I know if I have suffered a brain injury?
It may not be obvious!
You may have banged your head in the accident. Maybe you have no memory of the minutes before or for several hours after the accident? Maybe you experience blurred vision, headache or nausea/sickness?
Symptoms of brain injury include:
- Physical - loss of vision, headaches, tinnitus, fatigue.
- Cognitive - memory problems, difficulty concentrating on tasks
- Emotional - personality change, depression, more hot tempered, not "yourself", more anxious, low motivation.
Often the best person to notice these symptoms is a close family member.
Glasgow Coma Scale Score (GCS)
This is a measure of head injury based upon a patient's reactions and is often carried out by ambulance paramedics as well as at Hospital A&E and during assessment following a suspected head injury admission. 15/15 means fully conscious. If the score is:
- 8 or less you may have a severe injury
- 12 or less you may have a moderate injury
- 13-15 means you may have a mild injury.
Treatment can include CBT or anti-depressants. We can ensure that a victim of brain injury gets support, rehabilitation and care as well as aids and equipment for the home and at work, If you cannot work, we can claim your past and future lost earnings.
There are also support groups who can help: