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Are concussions really a serious form of brain injury?

In recent years, traumatic brain injury has gotten a lot of attention, as have concussions. Brain injury is indeed a serious topic, and it has been given as much attention as it undoubtedly deserves. Wilmington residents who have been in a car accident, or who have suffered a sports injury, may be familiar with the possibility of both traumatic brain injury and concussions as serious effects of an unexpected blow to the head.

There are many myths about concussions and the effects they can have upon an accident victim. One common myth is that concussions are not serious and simply clear themselves up after a short amount of time. In reality, a concussion--the most common type of traumatic brain injury--can cause lifelong damage to a person. A concussion may be the result of a direct force to the head, an open wound such as a gunshot or a violent shake or whiplash. A concussion can damage the brain's cranial nerves and stretch its blood vessels. Concussions may even spur a blood clot in the brain; this type of injury can prove fatal.

Despite their potential for very serious brain damage, concussions are often dismissed as minor. This may be because a concussion doesn't always show up on a CAT scan or other form of diagnostic imaging. In addition, a person who suffers from a concussion may feel dazed but otherwise fine shortly after the accident itself. Loss of consciousness after a concussion may not last long, adding to the perception that it is not a serious injury.

A concussion may not cause long-lasting or serious damage. Still, each accident situation is different and a concussion may take years to fully heal. Indeed, the way a person feels may not reflect the state of his or her injury. For those whose concussions are the result of another's negligence, it may be eye-opening to speak with a brain injury attorney about accident compensation.

Source: Brain Injury Alliance of Utah, "Types and Levels of Brain Injury," accessed March 16, 2016

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