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Services / Brain Injury Solicitors / Understanding your Symptoms

Understanding your Symptoms

Post-Traumatic Amnesia

Post-Traumatic Amnesia (“PTA”) is regarded as the single most important diagnostic tool in assessing the presence and severity of a head injury.

A period of PTA is characterised by the interruption of clear and continuous memory following a traumatic event, although there may be moments of recollection. Previously, clients have displayed problems fully recounting events after an accident, while also being able to recount specific, vivid snapshots of memory of events that occurred during the period.

The symptoms of subtle injuries are often missed by GPs, who do not have time to spend with patients to properly assess any period of PTA. Many cases of subtle injury are not identified by crude tools like the Glasgow Coma Scale. In subtle cases, CT and MRI scans often fail to identify any injury because the damage is too microscopic to be seen.

Brain Injury: Early Assessment

Obtaining an early assessment of PTA is hugely important when diagnosing a head injury. This is best achieved by spending time in a face-to-face setting with a professional. They will seek to obtain a detailed account of the memories present immediately after an accident.

The length of PTA is used by clinicians to categorise head injuries between minor, moderate, and severe. The ability to obtain accurate PTA history is a key requirement for any legal adviser or medical expert when advising in a case involving subtle brain injury.

Potential Brain Injury Symptoms

No two cases involving head injury are the same. While there are symptoms commonly associated with head injury claims, every individual is affected differently.

In cases involving a subtle head injury, we frequently encounter clients who are unable to explain the way they feel or the ways in which their ability to deal with day-to-day life has been impaired.

We often hear clients say that they feel as though they are living through a fog, frustrated by their difficulties in explaining how their ability to cope has diminished following an accident.

Brain injury symptoms can include:

  • Memory difficulties, confusion and disorientation
  • Balance problems
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Change in mood
  • Uncontrollable anger
  • Disinhibited speech
  • Changes in emotions or sleep patterns
  • Fatigue
  • Alcohol intolerance
  • Impaired concentration
  • Difficulty multitasking

Loss of consciousness can accompany a head injury, although this is not always the case.

The concept of ‘axonal shearing’ is widely accepted in the medical community and has been a feature of a number of UK legal cases. This type of damage can occur when microscopic nerve fibres in the brain are damaged, often as a consequence of a sharp acceleration/deceleration-type injury.

It is also important to realise that individuals who have suffered a head injury are often left with some kind of psychological injury. In such cases, it is important to deal with the psychological effect of the injury before taking certain steps to measure the impact of any head injury. This is because the psychological overlay can distort the results of any tests measuring the effects of the head injury.

This is just one of the reasons why rehabilitation is so important in head injury cases.

Our expertise

Our specialists have experience representing clients showing a broad spectrum of brain injury symptoms. We can work with you and your family to help you understand the important subtleties individual to your circumstances. Give us a call on 01603 214 220 to find out how we can help you today.

Please contact one of the team to discuss your specific requirements.

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If you would like further information about any service, call us on 01603 214220