A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, and it can occur anytime a person hits their head on something. It’s one of the most common injuries in a car accident. According to an article in Medical News Today, most people recover from a concussion in about a month.
What is a Concussion?
A person can get a concussion when the head is hit with direct force, which causes damage to the brain. In a car accident, it most often happens if the person’s head hits the dashboard or other object in the vehicle. Concussions range from mild to severe, but even mild ones may require medical attention.
Sometimes, there are no symptoms with a concussion, and the person isn’t even aware they’ve had one. In other cases, the symptoms can last for several weeks. According to information from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 2.87 million ER visits, hospital stays and deaths were attributed to traumatic brain injuries in 2014.
Symptoms of a concussion include the following:
- Issues with vision
- Problems with balance
- Changes in mood
- Difficulty with concentration and thinking
- More sensitivity to light and sounds
- Problems sleeping
Sometimes concussion symptoms don’t show up right away. Some may be noticeable after the injury while others may take days or even weeks to begin.
In the first two to three days after a concussion, the person should spend most of their time resting. Even if they feel normal, they should cut back on activities. Ideally, they won’t be alone for the first 48 hours. After the initial period, they should return to normal activities slowly.
A doctor will let them know when they are ready to drive, go back to work, resume exercise or physical activities and drink alcohol.
One factor that will determine how long it will take to recover from a concussion is how severe it was. A person with a history of concussions may also take longer to heal or if they have other pre-existing neurological issues. People who are older will generally take longer to heal of any medical issue, including a concussion.
Rest is the best medicine for a concussion. Eating healthy and not doing strenuous activities will also help. It is important to seek medical treatment after a head injury, no matter how minor it may seem. You shouldn’t treat it on your own because you don’t know how much damage there might be.
If a person takes longer than six weeks to recover, they may have what is known as post-concussion syndrome. It’s important to be careful and not get another concussion while this one is healing. Traumatic brain injury is a serious condition and should never be taken lightly. Even though concussions are common, they shouldn’t be ignored. Getting medical treatment right away is the best option to determine how serious the TBI is and if there are any long-term effects. With the right treatment plan, it’s likely that the person will make a full recover from a concussion.
Eye Test May Detect Brain Injury
An eye test may possibly detect brain injury according to one study. This test uses a handheld device to look for changes in the size of pupils and is non-invasive.
The small study indicated that the quantitative pupillometry was able to detect indications of brain injury in high school football players who had shown no other signs of a concussion. The device looks for neurological effects from head impacts that are measurable. The players hadn’t been diagnosed with a brain injury.
The impacts which have no symptoms to accompany them may still be severe and can result in subtle changes in the brain. Doctors recommend that a player receive an evaluation for head injury or brain trauma even if they show no signs at all after a severe impact.
Normally, these head impact injuries are only able to be detected and diagnosed by using advance imaging as well as biomarkers. These methods are invasive as well as costly. They also take time. QP could provide a non-invasive way to assess the damage of these impacts. QP has become common in use to detect pupil changes for other reasons over the use of a penlight, which can be subjective. The device measures pupil size as well as reactivity. It takes only two minutes to use on a patient.
Traumatic Brain Injury
While the study involved 18 high school football players, athletes aren’t the only ones who could benefit from this new information. TBIs can happen in any situation where a person suffers a severe impact to the head. For instance, one of the most common injuries from a car crash is impact to the head.
Often, the person may not notice any issues right away. They may say they feel fine. They could be in shock or genuinely feel fine at the time. However, a quick test for potential brain trauma could provide information which would tell them of brain injury at the earliest point possible.
Many times, a person may not exhibit symptoms from a TBI for days, weeks or even months after the accident. Even if they do show signs, they may not associate them with the trauma. They may suffer from memory loss, fatigue, changes in personality or behavior.
Concussions are commonly labeled as mild, moderate or severe. Signs of one include the following:
- Double vision
- Blurred vision
- Nausea or vomiting
- Problems with balance
- Sensitive to light or sounds
To treat a concussion, the doctor will usually prescribe rest and OTC pain medication. They will usually restrict activities for a period of time. For severe concussions, surgery may be necessary.
Because of the seriousness of brain injury, it’s important to get checked out any time you suffer from a hit to the head. Even if you feel fine, you could have suffered damage to the brain. It takes time for the brain to heal, but it’s also critical that you avoid risk of another head injury during that time. Multiple traumas increase the risk of long-term damage.
Vehicles Improving on Pedestrian Detection
Vehicle manufacturers are improving the technology that detects pedestrians, which will hopefully reduce the number of pedestrians killed each year. In fact, six mid-size cars received top marks from the IIHS while seven more came in second with a score of advanced. In total, 19 vehicle models in this category were reviewed, and only two received no credit.
Some Models Rise to the Top
Consumer Reports scores vehicles based on safety. More points are awarded if the technology for detecting pedestrians is included as standard equipment on vehicles. Experts say these systems could reduce pedestrian fatalities by thousands. Reports show that more than 100 pedestrians die each day in roadway accidents.
Statistics show that the number of pedestrians that died on the roadways in the US in 2018 were up from the previous years. The totals were higher than in the past three decades. This is concerning not only for the loss of lives but because more technology is in place to help drivers avoid crashes.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was a 3.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities in 2018 from 2017 with a total of 6,283. This is in stark contrast to the decline of total fatalities in highway accidents, which went down by 2.4 percent. This continues a trend with over 50 percent more people being killed as pedestrians that what occurred in 2009.
Testing done by IIHs for pedestrian safety included three different situations. In the first, the person is walking in front of a vehicle which is traveling at two different speeds. In one, the car is at 12 mph while in the second one it is traveling at 25 mph. The second situation being tested is a child that is running between cars which are parked. The third involves an adult walking along the shoulder.
All tests are conducted during the day with dry conditions. The cars being tested are expected to recognize the presence of a person and begin slowing down. The cars that scored the highest include the following:
- Volvo S60
- Subaru Outback
- Audi A4
- Nissan Maxima
- BMW 3 Series
- Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Based on results, these vehicles would have avoiding hitting the pedestrian in all tests.
The three models that failed all tests were the Kia Optima, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata.
Pedestrian Detection Technology Helps
Vehicles that include pedestrian detection are equipped with cameras and sensors as well as radar. The systems are designed to recognize a pedestrian even if the driver is unaware of their presence. The vehicle is supposed to be able to apply the brakes even if the driver doesn’t.
These tests show that advanced technology can help prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths. Experts say that the equipment should be available for all buyers rather than being limited to luxury models. When a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle, the risk of serious injury or death is much higher than if the person were in another vehicle. Because they are less visible, it’s often difficult for drivers to see the person walking in enough time to slow down before a collision takes place.
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