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Hitting your head in a car accident could lead to serious injury

There are all kinds of injuries you can suffer in a motor vehicle collision. Some of the more severe injuries, like spinal cord injuries, can leave you with permanent symptoms and lifelong issues.

For many people in the immediate aftermath of a crash, concerns about broken limbs or paralysis are strong. When they realize that they can move and nothing is obviously fractured, they may begin to assume that they didn't suffer serious injuries.

However, a lack of immediate symptoms doesn't mean that you will walk away from that crash unharmed. There is still the very real possibility of delayed symptoms with some serious conditions, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). If there is any possibility that your brain sustained an injury in a crash, you should seek immediate medical evaluation.

Traumatic brain injuries may not be obvious right away

There are two main reasons why you may not notice a TBI in the minutes right after a crash. The first is the rush of adrenaline you often experience in a collision. Your body and brain understand that you faced serious peril, and they respond by pumping you full of this energizing compound. Adrenaline can help you fight a predator or flee a dangerous place. Unfortunately, it can also mask your sensation of pain, leading you to overlook a potential injury.

Sometimes, a TBI can continue increasing in severity as days go by. Your skull, which is strong and thick to help protect your brain, offers very little flex in situations where the brain swells or bleeds. This can lead to increasingly pressure and worsening symptoms over time. The sooner you receive a diagnosis, the better the prognosis for your condition in many cases of TBIs.

Any blow to the head could cause a TBI

One of the most common causes of TBIs in car crashes relates to striking your head. You could hit your head against a window or windshield. You could also smash into the headrest or steering wheel. Those who get thrown from a vehicle are obviously at risk of striking their heads in the process. Glass, metal shards and other debris can also cause penetrating injuries to the head or skull, which can result in a TBI.

It is also possible to suffer a TBI without physically hitting your head on something. In crashes where a vehicle spins, rolls or flips over, the shaking motion could be enough to cause a serious TBI. Anyone who gets roughly shaken or who strikes one's head during a crash should seek medical evaluation to rule out the potential for a serious TBI. Getting diagnosed and treated as soon as possible could improve your symptoms and reduce the risk of the TBI worsening over time.

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