Is a Concussion a Traumatic Brain Injury?

a man holding his head in pain

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can be classified into three categories: mild, moderate, and severe. The classification of your injury may affect your symptoms and recovery prognosis. Learn about concussions and whether they may be classified as traumatic brain injuries.

What Is a Concussion?

Concussions are a type of brain injury caused by a blow or jolt to the head. The injury can range from mild to severe and can disrupt the way the brain normally works. A concussion may result in an altered mental state that can include loss of consciousness. Although a concussion may result in loss of consciousness, this is not a requirement for a victim to receive a TBI diagnosis. A concussion doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ve had a traumatic brain injury, but they can be linked.

Generally, most medical practitioners now agree that a TBI may occur without loss of consciousness, direct external trauma to the head, or positive findings on CT, MRI, or other sophisticated diagnostic testing devices. This has led to many more injury victims receiving a correct diagnosis and the proper treatment they need.

Signs & Symptoms of Concussions

You cannot see a concussion, but you might notice some of the symptoms right away. Other symptoms can show up days or weeks after the injury. If you have been in an accident and you now experience the following symptoms, you may be suffering from a concussion and should schedule a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible:

  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Double or fuzzy vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble concentrating

Concussion Recovery

Your concussion symptoms can begin to decrease in the first few weeks/months, depending on your injury’s severity. You may notice more difficulty in some situations than others. You might get tired after reading, studying, or watching TV. It may be harder to do two things at once, such as talking on the phone and working on the computer. Take things slow and be patient with yourself. Do not participate in contact sports until your health care professional says you’re ready to return.

Facts About Concussions

  • A concussion is the most common type of brain injury sustained in sports.
  • Most concussions do not involve loss of consciousness.
  • You can sustain a concussion even if you do not hit your head. An indirect blow elsewhere on the body can transmit an "impulsive" force to the head and cause a concussion to the brain.
  • Multiple concussions can have cumulative and long-lasting life changes.
  • Concussions typically do not appear in neuroimaging studies such as MRI or CAT scans.
  • An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year.
  • During 2001-2005, children and youth ages 5-18 years accounted for 2.4 million sports-related emergency department (ED) visits annually, of which 6% (135,000) involved a concussion.
  • Of the 1.4 million traumatic brain injuries sustained by children and adults in the United States each year, at least 75% are mild concussions.
  • Among children and youth ages 5-18 years, the five leading sports or recreational activities, which account for concussions, include bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer.

San Francisco Brain Injury Attorneys

If you or someone you love has acquired a mild, moderate, or severe TBI in an accident, our San Francisco brain injury attorneys are here to help. We specialize in helping victims recover the compensation they deserve from negligent parties, and we’re here to help you, too.

Contact Scarlett Law Groupat (415) 688-2176 to learn how we can assist you.

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