Symptoms of a Brain Bleed After a Head Injury
Head injury victims can suffer from a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, nausea, confusion, paralysis, and more. It can be hard to know just how serious a head injury is if there are no obvious outward signs of severe trauma, like penetration of the skull or a giant lump on the head. This can be dangerous because sometimes a head injury that may appear minor at the time can actually be extremely serious. So how can you know if your head injury is serious? One way is the look for the symptoms of a brain bleed after a head injury.
Causes of Head Injuries and Brain Bleeds
A traumatic brain injury is caused by a sudden blow or jolt to the head. Common causes include car accidents, work accidents, sports injuries, product liability injuries, and falls. Any one of these can cause a head injury with a brain bleed. There are time limitations associated with brain injury claims, so if another party is responsible for your injury, you generally have two years from the date of the injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. The sooner you reach out to legal counsel, the better, in order to preserve both evidence and memories of the event.
A hematoma is a blood clot your body forms when trying to stop internal bleeding. Hematomas can range in size and severity. In the brain, there are three main types of hematomas:
- Epidural hematoma: a clot that forms between the skull and the dura lining of the brain
- Subdural hematoma: a clot that forms between the dura and the arachnoid (outside of the brain)
- Intracerebral hematoma: a clot that forms within the brain tissue
Bleeding and added pressure on the brain form collections of blood that can be life-threatening. In a subdural hematoma, the bleeding is under the skull and outside of the brain, not inside the brain itself. As blood pools, the pressure on the brain increases and can become so severe that it causes unconsciousness or even death.
Head Injury Symptoms
Head injuries are among the leading causes of disability and death in adults. The injury can be as minor as a bump, bruise (contusion), or cut on the head, or it can be as severe as a concussion, deep cut or open wound, fractured skull bone(s), or internal bleeding and brain damage.
Traumatic brain injuries are on the rise, with approximately 1.7 million people suffering from one each year. Millions of Americans are alive today who have suffered a head injury and now require assistance with daily activities, costing the country more than $56 billion per year.
Depending on the location and type of brain injury, a head injury victim with a brain bleed can have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of fine motor skills
- Vision issues
- Sleep disturbances
- Loss of balance
- Changes in behavior
Symptoms can vary based on the brain injury victim’s age and other medical conditions. Also, those who have blood disorders and/or who take blood thinners are more likely to develop a brain bleed after a head injury.
How to Diagnose a Brain Bleed?
After suffering an injury to the head, you should seek medical attention. After head or brain trauma, a doctor will review the patient’s symptoms first, but many patients will undergo head imaging, usually via a CT scan or MRI. These tests create images of the interior of the skull. A CT scan can detect bleeding in your brain, and contrast dye can also be injected to view greater detail.
An MRI can also detect a brain bleed and dye can also be added to highlight blood flow. On occasion, a doctor will use cerebral angiography, where they insert a catheter into an artery in your leg and thread it up into your brain to inject dye so your brain’s blood vessels are visible on an x-ray. This is generally only used if other tests fail to show a brain bleed but one is still suspected.
Up to 22% of brain bleeds don’t appear on initial imaging, so be sure to be diligent if symptoms persist. You should ask for repeat scans a few days after the initial trauma to see if there have been noticeable changes, or ask your treating physician about other diagnostic testing – such as a lumbar puncture – which might be helpful.
Treatment for Head Injuries and Brain Bleeds
Treatment is tailored to the severity of the condition and the presence of other injuries. If the patient has suffered a severe head injury, they may require intracranial pressure monitoring – this involves monitoring how much pressure is in the skull pushing on the brain. The brain may swell as a result of a head injury. Because the skull covers the brain, there is only a small amount of space for it to swell inside of. This causes increased pressure inside the skull, which can result in brain damage.
Medications may be used to limit secondary care. Those that have had seizure activity or may be prone to seizure activity from a head injury will be given certain meds to reduce their risk of future seizures. Additionally, if the head injury is severe enough to require a person to be at complete rest, a medical professional will put the patient into a medically induced coma.
If medications cannot be used to treat the patient, the doctors will use different surgical techniques to help with the injury and brain bleeding. This can include removing any clots, repairing fractures, relieving pressure with burrow holes, and stopping any bleeds.
The majority of people who have suffered a serious brain injury will require rehabilitation. They may need to relearn fundamental skills like walking or talking. The goal is to improve their ability to carry out daily tasks.
In most cases, therapy begins in the hospital and continues in an inpatient rehabilitation unit, a residential treatment facility, or outpatient services. The type and duration of rehabilitation vary depending on the severity of the brain injury and the area of the brain that is injured.
Brain Injury Statistics
Every day, approximately 176 people die as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI). In the latest reporting year, there were over 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the United States.
TBIs have an impact on people of all ages. A TBI can happen to anyone, but data suggests that certain groups are more likely to die or have long-term health problems as a result of this type of head injury. TBI is more likely to affect certain groups of people, such as:
- Racial minorities
- Those living in rural areas
Outside of sports injuries, falls and motor vehicle accidents are the top causes of head injuries and brain bleeds. TBI victims may experience health problems that last a few days or for the rest of their lives, depending on the severity of the injury. A person with a mild TBI or concussion, for example, may experience short-term symptoms and feel better within a few weeks or months. A person who suffers a moderate or severe TBI may suffer long-term or life-long consequences as a result of the injury.
Who is Responsible for a Brain Injury?
When injured in an accident that causes a brain injury or brain bleed, the person responsible for the accident may be held legally liable for any injuries sustained. If it is found that the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or carelessness, then it is likely that you can work with an experienced lawyer to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party or parties.
A head injury lawsuit is typically based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence claims require the person filing the lawsuit, known as the plaintiff, to demonstrate that the party being sued, known as the defendant, is legally at fault or responsible for the head injury.
It can be difficult to prove a head injury occurred and that it is directly linked to the defendant’s behavior. Unfortunately, head injuries are more complex and difficult to detect than other types of injuries. As a result, gathering as much evidence as possible about the nature of the injury and the incident that resulted in the injury is critical for proving your case.
Hiring an Attorney After a Head Injury
If you suffered a brain bleed after a head injury due to the fault of another individual or entity, you can seek compensation from the responsible party for causing your injuries. Speaking to a personal injury attorney with specific knowledge of brain injuries and their effects can make a substantial difference in the outcome of your case. Accident victims are typically able to achieve better case results with an experienced personal injury lawyer on their side, since they know how to prove the full extent of your damages. Head injury damages can include pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, emotional distress, medical bills, lost wages, and more.
It’s important to choose an Amarillo personal injury lawyer who is not only experienced but also ethical, compassionate, and committed to you, your loved ones, and your case. The lawyers of Lovell, Lovell, Isern & Farabough are dedicated trial lawyers and upstanding members of our Amarillo community who are ready and able to serve you in your time of need. We offer free and confidential consultations in all personal injury cases, including those involving traumatic brain injury, head injury, and/or brain bleeds.