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How do doctors spot traumatic brain injuries?

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Personal Injury

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can easily occur as a result of car crashes. All that’s needed is for the head to hit something with sufficient force. Or something to hit the head with sufficient force. They can even occur when the head does not hit anything, but the crash forces cause the brain to be thrown against the skull with sufficient force. That could happen if a seat belt holds the body in place but the head whips forward and backward.

TBIs aren’t always immediately apparent, which is one reason you should go for a medical checkup after a crash. Here are some ways doctors can check for a TBI:

A neurological exam

Physicians don’t need machines for this one. They’ll just ask you questions and ask you to perform actions. What they are doing is assessing the following:

  • Mental agility and speech
  • Motor function
  • Sensory function
  • Coordination
  • Eye movement
  • Reflexes

If you pass all of these checks, a doctor might rule out the need to do anything more.

Imaging tests

Doctors can commission tests such as a CT or MRI scan but must only use machines approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in diagnosing head injuries. The FDA makes it clear they need to look at the overall picture, not just rely on one tool to make an assessment.

Quickly diagnosing a TBI gives doctors the best chance to intervene and limit the consequences where possible. The lifelong costs associated with a TBI can be massive, so you’ll want to seek legal help to pursue compensation if you suffer one in a car crash that is either not your fault or is only partially your fault.