One of the secrets and silent serious injuries one can suffer during an accident is a minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Notably, Natasha Richardson died following a closed head MTBI injury after striking her head while skiing. It was also speculated that pitchman Billy Mays’ death was caused by MTBI due to falling objects from the overhead compartments in his plane.
MTBI is a very serious condition that can prove fatal if not quickly diagnosed and treated. To better inform San Diego residents, our website added this helpful information about minor traumatic brain injury (MTBI), including its’ detection and treatment.
Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)
Many people heard of Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) recently when it was cited as the sudden cause of death for Natasha Richardson, notable model and wife of Liam Neeson. However, as a life-threatening condition, and one that can be imposed on you by people or places that may be liable for your injury, it is important to know and understand some of these relatively common injuries that can be often misdiagnosed.
One of the biggest problems with MTBI is that most people do not realize that something is wrong until it is too late. If there is no penetration or bleeding, most will try to just shake it off. However, brain injuries can be incredibly complex, and with the brain being center of all activity of our body, damages done to it can affect nearly anywhere else in our body, both physical and mental limitations. Sudden head injuries tend to take us to the emergency room, where time is of the essence, and physicians are only looking for severe brain injuries. This means that minor injuries may go unnoticed. Patients will be told that they are fine, only to develop symptoms in the future which, by that time, will not be attributed to a mild head injury from months previously.
Below are some symptoms that are associated with MTBI. Most can also be attributed to other disorders, so correct diagnosis is typically missed, and the patient is sometimes then accused of fabricating symptoms and/or not taken seriously.
Symptoms of MTBI
- Difficulty cognitively figuring out new things
- Being disorganized in approach to new problems
- Having difficulty completing activities in a reasonable amount of time
- Becoming easily frustrated, irritable, or having outbursts of anger or rage
- Problems with word finding or selection
- Hypersensitivity to light or sound
- Problems with concentrating and being easily distracted
- Problems with short-term memory
- Becoming more forgetful
- Increased frequency of headaches
- Increased impulsiveness, impatience, risk-taking, rudeness, or social impropriety
- Problems reading letters and words
- Difficulty in understanding what others are saying
- Confusion in telling right from left
- Getting lost easily
- Decreased libido
- Sensory problems with vision, hearing, taste, smell, sensation
- Emotional difficulties (depression, fear, nightmares)
A doctor with Duke University noted that a person can seem incredibly and deceptively lucid and normal following injury, but have a sudden turn for the worse as bleeding from the brain can cause a pressure build up until they experience a traumatic brain injury. Delay in symptoms can range from five minutes to three hours. Immediate treatment is always essential, as damage done to the brain from swelling is often irreversible.
Any type of blow to the head has the potential to cause this. Luggage falling on your head when retrieving overhead storage on an airplane at San Diego airport, hitting your head on your steering wheel after being rear-ended on the interstate 5, or even a branch falling while a neighbor trims their tree in your Escondido neighborhood has the potential to induce MTBI.
Remember to always take precautions with accidents, and especially your health.