Jason Stephens | March 14, 2020 | Brain Injuries
Trauma to the body is one of the leading causes of death in people under the age of 35. Worldwide, it is the sixth leading cause of death. Many of these injuries are caused by blunt force trauma to the head. The number one reason for this type of injury is a car accident. These injuries can happen to drivers, occupants of vehicles, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
Blunt Force Head Trauma
Blunt force trauma is a physical injury to a body part. The injury is usually caused by an impact but can also be produced by an injury or by an assault or attack. A blunt force trauma is the opposite of penetrating trauma. This is an injury that is caused when some enters the body through force. Examples include being stabbed by a knife or being impaled by something after a car accident.
A blunt force head trauma is a severe injury to the head. The main concern with this type of injury is that it could cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is an extremely serious injury that can cause life-long health issues and even death. Head injuries require significant monitoring by medical professionals. They could develop into more severe neurological and physical injuries if they are left untreated.
While TBIs are most commonly associated with blunt force head trauma, several other areas can be affected. These include damage to the skull, eyes, face, and neck. Contusions are injuries similar to bruises that can happen to soft tissue areas like the nose and jaw.
Leading Causes of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Car accidents are one of the number one causes of blunt force head trauma. Almost all transportation deaths result from some sort of blunt force trauma, especially injury to the brain or head. This includes accidents involving cars, motorcycles, and trucks. These injuries are usually caused when a person is jolted forward during a crash. They often hit their head on the steering wheel or dashboard. They could also be ejected from the car or motorcycle and hit their head when they land.
Falls are another common reason for blunt force head trauma. These can be falls from several stories high but they can also happen just falling out of your chair and hitting your head on the side of something. The injury is not only dependent on the force of the fall. Other factors that matter include where you hit your head and at what angle you fell.
Another common cause is physical assault. This is commonly seen by law enforcement agents dealing with domestic violence issues. These injuries tend to be less TBIs and more damage to the head and throat. A 2016 study conducted by forensic scientists found that reported injuries to the ear and throat generally indicated that a crime had taken place. Injuries to the soft-tissue regions of the face like the nose and jaw tended to indicate criminal or domestic violence.
Finally, sports accidents are another leading cause of blunt force head trauma. About 20% of all TBIs in American children and teenagers are from sports-related injuries. This issue has been gaining public notoriety in the world of professional football. Players that constantly take hits to the head develop frequent concussions. They may also develop a more serious disease in life: CTE. This injury causes changes to the brain and functioning over time.
Leading Effects of Blunt Force Head Trauma
Brain injuries can be tricky to diagnose because they aren’t always apparent at the scene of an accident. it may take days or weeks for the symptoms to show. You should seek a doctor if there has been any type of injury to the head. They will be able to monitor you and your symptoms and assess if you have any serious injuries.
TBIs can be mild or severe. Symptoms of a mild TBI include headaches, vomiting, nausea, loss of consciousness, problems with sleep, dizziness, sensitivity to light or sound, mood changes, depression, or anxiety. They can also cause sensory changes like ringing in the ears, the loss of smell, or blurred vision. Severe TBI symptoms include long losses of consciousness, persistent headache or migraine, seizures, repeated vomiting, clear fluid draining from eyes or nose, pupil dilation irregularities, loss of coordination, and body weakness. It can also lead to confusion and unusual behavior.
Concussions and contusions are also serious effects of blunt force head trauma. While you may think you only have a minor cosmetic injury, it is possible that you may have suffered a minor concussion and not even know it. Orbital injuries like black eyes and bruises covering other parts of the face are also common.