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What are the different levels of severity in brain injury cases?

A traumatic brain injury happens as the result of damaging trauma to the brain. A TBI might happen after the head hits an object suddenly or violently. It might happen after an object pierces through the skull and damages brain tissue. Regardless, how a TBI happens, though, its effects can be painful and life-altering to the say the least.

TBI symptoms could be anywhere from mild to severe, and it all depends on how much damage is done when the accident occurs. Mild symptoms of TBI may involve the loss of consciousness for several seconds or even minutes. They could also include different sleep habits, lack of attention, problems thinking, mood changes, memory issues, a strange test in one's mouth, lethargy, fatigue, ringing ears, light headedness, blurry vision, tired eyes, headache, dizziness and/or confusion.

When the brain injury is elevated to moderate, symptoms will include the above in addition to a headache that continues to worsen or persist, repeated nausea, vomiting, seizures, convulsions, difficulty waking, pupil dilation and/or dizziness. Victims with severe TBI could also suffer from numbness in their extremities, lack of coordination, agitation and/or restlessness.

Moderate and severe TBI cases need swift medical attention to try and limit the worsening, severity and permanence of symptoms. After TBI has happened, doctors cannot exactly reverse it, but they can try to stabilize it to prevent the TBI from getting worse, which can sometimes happen in cases that are not treated. Doctors will try to ensure that the body and brain are receiving plenty of oxygen, they will work to ensure adequate blood supply to the brain, and they will try to control the victim's blood pressure. Various imaging tests may also help doctors diagnose the type of TBI and regions of the brain affected so as to improve treatment.

Since traumatic brain injuries usually happen because of an accident, they can also give rise to personal injury claims -- especially if the accident happened because of another party or party's negligence.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes, "NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page," accessed Aug. 20, 2015

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