Because your brain is one of the most important organs in your body, it is important to seek immediate medical attention if you suffer an injury that affects your head. Brain injuries can happen suddenly, and the severity of the injury may not be obvious at first. As a result, medical staff members often perform a series of tests to determine severity.
Soon after suffering your injury, you may find yourself having to answer numerous questions -- if you have the ability to do so -- and having to undergo various testing. If your injury makes it impossible for you to provide medical professionals with needed information, hopefully, someone who witnessed the injury-causing event will be able to answer questions.
Doctors and other medical staff need a lot of information when treating a patient. When it comes to a brain injury and determining its severity, they may need answers to the following questions:
- How did the injury take place?
- Did the victim show signs of injury, like problems with attention, speech or coordination?
- Did the person lose consciousness? If so, for how long?
- What part of the head took the impact?
- What hit the head or how far did the victim fall before hitting his or her head?
The answers to these questions can often help doctors determine your condition and the risks for severe injury.
In many cases, physicians need pictures of the brain to see if any visible damage is present. Medical staff often utilize two types of imaging tests, which include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI: With this test, radio waves are used to obtain a detailed picture of the brain.
- Computerized tomography scan, or CT scan: You will likely undergo this type of image testing first. It utilizes X-rays to look for damage on the brain, such as blood clots, bleeding, fractures, tissue swelling and bruised brain tissue.
If tissue swelling is present, medical staff may need to insert a probe to measure the pressure that could build up inside the skull. If the pressure does increase, additional damage could take place.
Unfortunately, though you may need to undergo these and other tests to diagnose your brain injury, they can prove costly. The costs of treatment and other medical-related expenses could also lead to substantial medical bills. If your brain injury resulted from someone else's negligence, such as in a car accident caused by another driver, you may have reason to file a personal injury claim against that person. This legal claim could allow you to seek compensation to cover medical expenses and other damages permitted under Texas state law.