The brain is our most vital organ. Head injuries can result in skull and brain damage with potentially catastrophic results. So, how often are head injuries fatal? Around three percent of these incidents result in the eventual death of the individual. This may seem like a small amount, but consider that there are almost two million cases in the US every year. This means that tens of thousands die an untimely death. Adult seniors are more likely to fall victim compared to the general population because of dangerous activities and the problems that come with old age. Even those who escape the ordeal and stay alive may suffer from related issues either temporarily or permanently.
Signs and Symptoms
Some forms of head injuries are immediately obvious. You may be able to see blood trickle down from the forehead or visible cracks around the skull on imaging. These are certainly emergencies that deserve immediate medical attention from doctors. Other injuries are not as easy to spot. The bleeding could be internal. The symptoms may be neurological. A person might begin to exhibit odd behaviors, feel severe headaches, have uncontrollable urges to sleep, or develop paralysis. Most changes occur right after injuries to the head, but some can take years to manifest, like Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about a third of traumatic brain injuries can be traced to falls. Many of these are from workers whose jobs take them to great heights, like carpenters or window washers. Almost a sixth of the total can be attributed to vehicle accidents, while another sixth is due to being hit on the head. A tenth are sustained through assaults, while the rest are from unknown ways. The age groups who are most at risk are those at the extreme ends of life: children up to age fourteen and seniors sixty-five and up.
Doctors can use several methods to determine the location and type of head injury. A computed tomography (CT) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered to investigate the brain structures and surrounding skull. Other techniques include diffusion, tensor imaging, and magnetic resonance spectroscopy. The patients will also be asked questions to uncover the origin of the injury and the ways in which the body is being affected. Practical tests can be conducted for vision, balance, hearing, and reflexes to gauge the severity of any neurological problem. Doctors will check the motor response, the verbal response, and the eye opening of the patient.
Victims of assault or accidents due to negligence may wish to seek legal assistance, such as a Detroit wrongful death lawyer, in collecting compensation for the damages. The families can also step in if the victims are indisposed. Serious injuries will require lengthy hospital stays, expensive treatments, and long-term rehabilitation.