What is a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury?
While there are various medical definitions of mild traumatic brain injury, the most commonly accepted definition is the one established by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM).
The ACRM defines a mild traumatic brain injury as any:
“Traumatically induced physiologic disruption of brain function”
In other words, a mild traumatic brain injury is any physical trauma to the brain that disrupts the normal functions of the brain.
In addition, the patient must have at least one of the following symptoms:
- Any period of loss of consciousness;
- Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after the accident (amnesia);
- Any alteration in mental status at the time of the accident (for example, feeling dazed, disoriented or confused);
- Focal neurologic deficits (for example loss of sense of smell or hearing).
How can a Brain Injury Happen?
A traumatic brain injury can happen when:
- The head is struck by something (for example a box falling off a shelf and hitting your head);
- The head strikes an object (for example falling and hitting your head on the floor); or
- The brain undergoes acceleration/ deceleration without direct trauma to the head. This often happens when the head whips back and forth quickly. This is commonly referred to as “whiplash”.
If you or a family member have suffered a traumatic brain injury (or if you have been in an accident where you may have suffered a head injury) you should seek immediate medical attention.
You will need to provide your doctor with complete and accurate information about the mechanics of how the accident happened, whether you struck your head, and whether you suffer from any of the signs or symptoms listed above.
Do You Think You Need Our Help?
Halifax Brain Injury lawyer John McKiggan Q.C. has served on the board of the Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia (Halifax Chapter) and is the author of Brain Matter: The Survivor’s Guide to Brain Injury Claims an educational resource for brain injury survivors and their families.
If you or someone in your family has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you can call brain injury lawyer John McKiggan Q.C. toll free at (902) 423-2050 or contact us online for a free consultation.