Every year, over half a million Canadians sustain a traumatic brain injury. Motor vehicle accidents account for more than 50% of all acquired brain injuries, this according to the Brain Injury Society of Toronto.
Many victims of minor vehicle collisions – motorists, passengers and pedestrians alike – do not seek medical care as they believe that they do not need medical attention as they have no obvious signs of injury.
The Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory revealed that while 80% of traumatic brain injury victims recover within days to weeks, a small number of these victims experience concussion. The Psychiatry Neuroimaging Laboratory added that concussions often go unreported as many victims refuse to be attended by a physician after an injury.
The Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care defines concussion as a form of brain injury that is caused by a blow to the body or head that makes the brain to move rapidly back and forth inside the skull. According to the health ministry, the sometimes subtle symptoms of concussion may go unnoticed.
“Without identification and proper management, a concussion can result in permanent or severe brain damage,” the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care said.
Do you have to lose consciousness to have a concussion? Parachute, a leading organization for injury prevention in Canada, said that it is a mistake to define concussion in terms of loss of consciousness. While the loss of consciousness is one of the physical signs of concussion, most concussions happen without loss of consciousness, the organization for injury prevention said. The symptoms of concussion, according to Parachute, can be physical, cognitive and emotional.
Physical Symptoms of Concussion
- Feeling unsteady
- Feeling “dinged” or “stunned” or “dazed”
- Feeling like their “bell was rung”
- Seeing stars or other visual disturbances
- Ringing in the ears
- Double vision
- Simply “not feeling right”
Cognitive Symptoms of Concussion
- Poor concentration
- Memory disturbance
Emotional Symptoms of Concussion
- Feeling of depression
It is important, therefore, to seek medical attention immediately after a minor vehicle accident as negligible symptoms like “not feeling right” and “feeling of depression” can be some of the symptoms of concussion.