Brain Injuries Can Be Difficult to Diagnose:  Know the Signs & Symptoms

Brain injuries are frequently the result of car accidents but they are notoriously difficult to diagnose.  If your loved one is just not acting the same after a car accident in Kansas City.  You may notice certain signs or symptoms that are often related with a brain injury.  

If you need a resource to check for these signs and symptoms, download our free brain injury checklist right now.  You can use this checklist to identify and document the common signs of a brain injury and show it to the treating doctor.

There are a number of tests that medical professionals use to diagnose a brain injury, including those below.

Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS)

A commonly used and relatively simple test that medical providers may use to diagnose a brain injury is the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).  The GCS measures a car accident victim’s function in three primary areas:

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  • You ability to communicate, including whether you can speak normally, whether you make sense, or whether you cannot speak at all;
  • Your ability to open eyes, including whether you open you eyes only when asked; and 
  • Your ability to move, including whether you can move your arms easily or whether you move them in response to painful sensations.

A medical provider rates one’s responses in these categories and calculates a total score. A score of 13 and higher indicates a mild TBI, 9 to 12 is considered a moderate TBI, and 8 or below shows a severe TBI.  

CT Scans

CT scans are often performed in the emergency room or at the hospital after a Kansas City car accident. CT scans can identify serious injuries like a brain bleed (i.e. intracranial hemorrhage) or a fractured skull. However, many times a CT scan will have normal results despite the fact that a head injury occurred and symptoms persist. In these circumstances, you need to be persistent in alerting your medical providers to your symptoms and in requesting further follow up testing.

The emergency room doctor usually will instruct car accident victims who have sustained a concussion to follow up with their primary care doctor. The primary care doctor can then refer the patient to a neurologist if symptoms such as headaches, confusion, dizziness, or memory loss persist.

MRIs, EEGs & Advanced Testing

If a brain injury is suspected, neurologists will usually request that you undergo a MRI and an EEG. These scans will evaluate your brain activity.  Similar to CT scans, MRIs and EEGs can show "normal" results even if the patient sustained a concussion or other closed head injury and continues to experience symptoms.  

If your CT Scan, MRI or EEG show normal results, but you continue to experience symptoms such as persistent headaches, confusion, difficulty concentrating, changes in attitude, memory loss, or any other problem for more than a few weeks after your car accident, you should ask your neurologist to consider more advanced testing. Such advanced tests may include intracranial pressure (ICP) monitoring, Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI). These tests are able to identify injuries to the brain that can be overlooked by traditional imaging.

Contact Our Kansas City Brain Injury Lawyer

brain injury lawyer checklist guide for accident head injuriesOur Kansas City brain injury lawyer is focused on helping people who have sustained brain injuries from car wrecks throughout Kansas and Missouri, If you have questions about a brain injury after a car accident or other personal injury accident, we want to be a resource for you to ensure you find the doctors, tests, and treatment that you need.  

One resource you can download right now is our free brain injury checklist, which you can use as a reference for common brain injury signs and symptoms.  

If you have questions or want to discuss your case, please contact our law firm today by calling (816) 203-0143 for a free, no obligation consultation.  No matter what you do - if you or your loved one have not been acting the same ever since the accident, take action today. 

Kevin J. McManus
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Kevin McManus is a nationally recognized personal injury and long-term disability attorney in Kansas City, MO.