Difference Between a Serious and a Mild Brain Injury

The brain can sustain many different types of injuries, with a wide variety of accompanying symptoms. It is a complex organ with unpredictable reactions to damage. Doctors categorize brain injuries based on their severity for a better idea of how they may affect a victim. A mild brain injury may have symptoms that dissipate in a few weeks, while a serious one could inflict permanent brain damage.

Similarities Between Serious and Mild Brain Injuries

Many physicians say that all brain injuries are serious. Minor brain injuries do not exist, because any damage to the brain can result in significant symptoms for the victim. After any bump or blow to the head, see a doctor for a brain scan. The brain may have bleeding or swelling without causing any symptoms, so it is important to get medical scans to make an early diagnosis. Severe brain injuries may require emergency surgical intervention to prevent life-threatening complications.

All types of brain injuries can be life changing. See a doctor after any accident that involves the head, such as a car crash, sports impact, fall, drowning, suffocation, birth injury, or act of violence. Follow the doctor’s exact orders for treatment and recovery. Then, speak to a brain injury attorney to discuss your options for financial compensation from an at-fault party. A negligent driver, physician, employer, product manufacturer, or another party could be liable for your injury-related damages. A Las Vegas injury lawyer can help you obtain fair compensation.

Symptoms of a Serious Brain Injury

A concussion is the most common type of mild brain injury. It happens when a blow or jolt to the head causes the brain to move within the skull, either striking the inside of the skull or twisting around on its stem. Mild concussions may have symptoms such as dizziness, headache, and nausea, and heal on their own within a few weeks. Severe concussions, on the other hand, can cause loss of consciousness, coma, memory loss, and long-term damages. Severe brain injuries can have a range of serious effects on the patient.

  • Unconsciousness for minutes, hours, or days
  • Chronic headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  • Weakness or numbness
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion
  • Unusual behavior
  • Coma

Different patients can experience different symptoms associated with a serious brain injury. The presence of one symptom may not point to severe damage, but more than one likely means the victim has suffered a significant brain injury and needs emergency medical attention. Although a minor brain injury can have similar symptoms, they will not be as intense. Also, a victim will not lose consciousness after a minor brain injury. Loss of consciousness is one of the first signs of a more serious problem.

Permanent Damage From a Serious Brain Injury

Another significant difference between a serious and mild brain injury is the longevity of damage. Although no cure exists for any type of brain injury, the effects of a mild one will typically disappear on their own within a few days or weeks. A serious brain injury, on the other hand, can inflict lifelong physical, cognitive, and psychological damage on the victim. Serious brain injuries can cause permanent, irrevocable damage to the brain’s cells, resulting in a list of long-term symptoms.

  • Brain death
  • Permanent memory loss
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive deficiencies
  • Trouble talking or eating
  • Physical disabilities

Many victims with serious brain injuries end up in minimally responsive states, in wheelchairs or on bed rest. They may rely on 24/7 life support or live-in care for the rest of their lives. Rehabilitative therapies may help a brain injury victim regain some capabilities over time, but long-term prognoses can be difficult to make. Each patient and brain injury is unique, however. Minor brain injuries generally do not cause permanent damage.