The dangers of a misdiagnosed brain injury

Brain injuries are mostly caused by trauma to the head, whether as a result of an accident or deliberate assault. In the UK, every year approximately 900,000 people visit A & E with a head injury.

Unfortunately, brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose, and the symptoms can vary, depending on the individual and the severity of the trauma.

Symptoms of brain injuries

There are different classifications of brain injuries and, depending on whether the trauma is mild, moderate or severe, symptoms might include:

  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Changes in sleep pattern
  • Confusion
  • Sensory issues
  • Seizures
  • Cognitive or behavioural symptoms

Mild injuries are likely to cause immediate symptoms which should lessen over time. Moderate and severer brain injuries can result in more extreme symptoms and often cause symptoms that appear a few hours to a few days after the initial trauma.

Also Read: Brain Health and Quality of Life for Seniors

It’s also important to be aware of the signs and symptoms in children as these can differ from those of an adult. They can include:

  • Being overly fussy or irritable
  • Crying continuously
  • Changes in sleep
  • Loss of interest in play or activities
  • Changes in feeding

Concussion is a common result of a brain trauma. However, it’s the injury itself that can cause severe complications and long-term effects. These can include bleeding and pressure on the brain, blood clots and, depending on the severity, even death. That’s why is vital to seek prompt medical care and receive early diagnosis.

When suffering a head trauma, the medical team will score the severity using a standard scale (often the Glasgow Coma Scale) and will monitor and treat the injury based on the result.

The NHS recommends seeking medical help if you or someone you know has any form of symptoms following a head injury.

Why are brain injuries sometimes misdiagnosed?

Brain injury claims can be made in cases of misdiagnoses, which can sometimes help with the financial implications of the symptoms and recovery.

There can be many reasons why brain injuries are overlooked or diagnosed as another condition.

There’s often a broad spectrum of symptoms, sometimes not directly related to the site of injury, which can mask as a completely different medical issue. Symptoms also cover a range of behavioural and cognitive problems which can be difficult to identify.

In some situations, symptoms can occur days or weeks after the initial trauma, even though the person appeared well at the time.

However, in cases like these, symptoms tend to get progressively worse over time which means getting an initial diagnosis is even more important.

The most important takeaway is to be aware of the potential issues that sustaining a brain injury. It’s also crucial seek immediate medical advice if you, or someone you know, suffers a head trauma, even if all seems well.