Articles Tagged with concussion

Brain trauma can occur during an auto collision when the head hits the windshield or steering wheel. The skull does not have to have been penetrated or fractured for a TBI to occur. The impact involved in an auto collision can cause the soft brain to strike the hard bone of the skull. This occurs because the impact causes the head, which had previously been in motion, to come to an abrupt stop. The brain continues its forward movement, and impacts the interior of the skull. This impact can cause bruising of the brain and/or a brain hemorrhage (bleeding) which in most cases is not visible at the time of injury.

Blunt trauma is another mechanism of injury during a car accident. This occurs when a moving head slams against a hard object such as the windshield. Often, upon impact with the hard object, and open head wound will be visible. This can also occur if the car occupant is ejected at impact.

It is not uncommon for accident victims to sustain a concussion. This can occur when the head strikes a window, the steering wheel, or the back of a seat during impact. With time, concussion symptoms may and can resolve.

However, second impact syndrome occurs when the brain has not healed from the initial concussion. If the brain has not healed, a second impact can cause swelling of the brain or hemorrhaging. This in turn can lead to death. Fortunately, second impact syndrome is infrequent. However, it is critical to avoid activities that could cause it to occur.

Automobile accidents account for half of all brain injuries in the U.S. according to Statistics from the Center for Disease Control. A traumatic brain injury occurs when an impact to the head disrupts brain functioning. After a brain injury, the length of recovery varies from person to person and there are many factors that affect the prognosis. Although, the most noticeable improvement happens in the first six months, it is common for a person to steadily improve over a two year period after an injury.

Factors that affect the recovery process include the type and severity of brain injury, the age of person injured, medical history, depth and duration of injured person in a coma.

Head_CT_scan.jpgIn some cases, patients sustaining trauma to the head and neck area will have both closed head injuries and maxillofacial trauma. Of the two, closed head injuries are more severe and need to be managed before the maxillofacial trauma is treated. Patients with closed head injuries can have intracerebral hematomas, subdural hematomas or epidural hematomas. Each of these blood clots can increase in size and can cause excess pressure on the brain. This can lead to semiconscious states or coma and, in severe cases, they can cause herniation of brain tissue through the foramen magnum at the base of the brain. Such a condition is almost uniformly fatal because the patient is unable to breathe on their own and have instability of pulse and blood pressure.

The recommendation of most physicians who suspect an intracranial injury when a maxillofacial injury is noted gives the patient a CT scan of the head and face. This CT scan will determine the presence of bleeding, swelling and blood clots in the brain and will demonstrate any skull fractures or facial fractures. When the brain is stabilized through surgery or other modality, then the maxillofacial fractures, contusions, and lacerations can be managed secondarily.

Motor vehicle rollover accidents are accidents in which the motor vehicle ends up on its side or on its back. In other words, there is no contact between the wheels of the vehicle and the ground. Unfortunately, 2.7 percent of occupants of a motor vehicle were killed in a rollover compared to 0.2 percent of occupants in non-rollover accidents. A total of 33 percent of all fatalities that are related to motor vehicle collisions occurred in rollover accidents as opposed to those accidents where the vehicle does not roll over.

Rollover rates seem to be higher in light trucks and SUVs. Rollovers are less common for the average passenger vehicle and/or minivan. More than any other demographic, male young drivers were the cause of the majority of these type of accidents. Vehicles that roll also tended to be older vehicles carrying multiple occupants. Sadly, many of the rollover accidents were noted to often contain unbelted passengers. Besides the age, sex and type of vehicle demographic, high speed rates at the time of the incident was another component contributing to these accidents.

When looking at motorcycle and other motor vehicle accident statistics, it’s clear that there are more accidents for motorcycles than there are for motor vehicles. The problem is that most of these accidents are due to the fault of the automobile drivers who fail to give the proper right of way to motorcycles and cause accidents.

There was a survey filled out to assess car drivers’ attitudes and assessment of motorcyclists. Drivers should there were some negative attitudes towards motor cycles in some cases and empathic attitudes in other cases. Some drivers were aware of the perceptual problems when dealing with motorcycles and many had a spatial understanding of the motorcycle on the road. Drivers who had a moderate driving experience held the most negative responses toward motorcyclists.

Motorcyclists are in a unique position as riders on the road. They ride on two wheels, which is an inherently unstable position. They ride without the benefit of any protective metal around them, which makes direct vehicle to patient contact likely. Road to victim contact is almost inevitable and these riders often suffer from significant injuries. Many motorcyclists use performance enhancing equipment, which makes the chances of severe injury or death quite likely.

One recent review study looked at the patterns of injury, particularly major ones, seen in motorcycle riders following their injuries. There are unique aspects of their care, including airway management, circulatory status and the management of the spine.

Head injuries are a common cause of death in motor vehicle accidents. They often result from unbelted drivers or passengers who are ejected from the vehicle. These head injuries also occur to seat-belted passengers or even the driver when stuck directly, usually with a bigger vehicle such as an SUV or truck. Pedestrians can be struck by a motor vehicle and this can also lead to a head injury.

In the US, someone sustains a traumatic brain injury every 23 seconds. This is about 2 million people per year. Three hundred thousand people will need to be hospitalized because of head injuries and 99,000 will have a long lasting disability. A total of 56,000 people will die in the US per year. About 34 percent of all injuries resulting in death are due to a head injury.

Car surfing is the dangerous practice of standing on the hood or top of a car, “surfing” the car as if it were a surfboard. Some youths consider this a ‘sport.’ It is a practice usually performed by teenagers, some of whom are intoxicated and have poor coordination. Obviously, this is a practice that is fraught with the potential for injury and death.

Trauma from car surfing includes head and spine injuries. A recent study has looked at the neurological injuries resulting from car surfing. The study also addressed why this is a growing ‘trend’ in the nation. For starters, it is portrayed in the media as a “cool thing” to do. Additionally, many teens do not seem to think it is dangerous.

Head injuries, particularly traumatic brain injuries, are a common complication of motor vehicle accidents; some people recover fully from their traumatic brain injury or have minimal complications, while other sustain a permanent disability from their accident.

One study looked at the self-reporting of health complications and other factors affecting a person’s health after a motor vehicle accident. The study was a population-based and cross-sectional study of mild traumatic brain injury patients who sustained their injury from a traffic-related event. The events occurred between December 1, 1997 and November 31, 1999 in Saskatchewan.