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Mild head injuries may cause significant damage

As Arizona residents may know, mild head injuries are often deceptive. The trauma may be slight, and the injured individual may seem shaken but not hurt. If brain injury occurred, the signs and symptoms may develop gradually. The onset of injury differs from person to person.

Mild brain injury may result when the head is injured by blunt trauma or forces of deceleration or acceleration. In order to diagnose mild traumatic brain injury, doctors use certain criteria during the observational period. Primary symptoms are loss of consciousness, disorientation, confusion or impaired consciousness, seizures and amnesia. Adults often exhibit headache, irritability, fatigue, dizziness and decreased concentration. Young children and infants may exhibit vomiting, lethargy and irritability. These neurological signs are not, in themselves, pathognomonic of mild traumatic brain injury, but they are useful in supporting such a diagnosis.

A hard, bony skull protects the brain, which has a soft, gelatin-like consistency and is enveloped in cerebral fluid. The brain moves within the skull when the head experiences trauma, and injury such as neural cell damage may result. In addition, the brain may hit the uneven inner surface of the skull, where the tissue or axons may be damaged.

The road to recovery from mild traumatic brain injury may be long. In addition, insurance may refuse to pay for treatment that might allow a victim to resume his or her pre-accident level of activity or work. An attorney may assist the victim, after reviewing the case, in filing a personal injury suit to pay for medical bills and rehabilitative therapy.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America, "Mild Brain Injury and Concussion", December 01, 2014

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