What to Look Out for Following a Head Injury

When individuals sustain a bump or jolt to the head or body, there is a chance that a head or brain injury could occur. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries are not always obvious, and it can take hours or even more than a day for some signs and symptoms to appear. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common signs and symptoms you should be on the lookout for if you have sustained a bump or blow to the head or body and if you’ve suffered a brain injury, reach out to our Santa Ana brain injury lawyers.

The Obvious Symptoms of a Head Injury

The signs and symptoms of a brain injury will vary depending on how severe the injury is. For instance, mild traumatic brain injuries, often referred to as concussions, typically manifest with symptoms such as headaches, sensitivity to light and sound, ringing in the ears, possible nausea and vomiting, and fatigue.

These same signs and symptoms will also appear with more moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, but some of the more obvious signs that a person has sustained a severe brain injury include:

  • A loss of consciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Any visible blood or clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
  • Dilation of one or both pupils 
  • Loss of coordination
  • Profound confusion
  • Slurred speech
  • Major behavioral changes

In many cases, individuals know that they have sustained some type of brain injury, or the people around them are aware of the injury. It is crucial for individuals to seek immediate medical care in these instances. Prompt medical treatment of a brain injury can help alleviate the symptoms and prevent any further damage that could lead to long-lasting or permanent disabilities.

traumatic brain injuries are not always obvious

Not so Obvious Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Injury

Unfortunately, because our brains are encased in an inflexible covering that we cannot see through (our skulls), the signs and symptoms of some brain injuries may go unnoticed for hours or days. Sometimes, people sustain an initial jolt to the head or body and do not feel any pain or typical brain injury symptoms at all. However, that does not mean that they have not sustained any type of brain trauma.

The brain can continue to swell, or bleeding can occur underneath the skull for quite some time without anybody realizing it. Symptoms can be so gradual that a brain injury victim and those around them do not notice signs and symptoms until quite some time after the incident occurs.

The typical signs and symptoms of delayed brain injuries that manifest look like the signs and symptoms we discussed above, but they may not occur for hours after the incident or even until the next day. 

Further complicating brain injury signs and symptoms are injuries that occur in children. Younger children are often unable to let those around them know when something is wrong, so parents, guardians, and other adults need to be on the lookout for any typical brain injury signs and symptoms if their child has sustained a bump or blow to the head or body.

A Cautionary Tale

When comedian Bob Saget passed away in 2022, there were many questions. Eventually, it was concluded that Mr. Saget sustained blunt force trauma to the head and that the death was accidental. It appeared that he sustained a blow to the head, likely by falling in his hotel room. He likely did not think the injury was very severe and laid down to go to sleep. Unfortunately, there was likely brain swelling or bleeding that led to his death while he was sleeping.