Tools and Tests Doctors May Use to Evaluate a Head Injury
When you’ve had any type of bump or blow to the head or neck, or if you’ve had your head or neck violently snapped back and forth (as a result of the impact of a car accident, for example), chances are good that you’ve suffered some level of traumatic brain injury. Most such injuries, though, are closed-head injuries, making it extremely difficult to diagnose both the presence and the extent of such an injury. Medical professionals use a range of tools and other approaches to try to get a clear understanding of the seriousness of any type of brain injury.
Imaging Tests Can Be Helpful
Imaging tests won’t generally provide conclusive evidence of a traumatic brain injury. An x-ray can show a skull fracture but won’t typically show anything else. A CT/CAT (computerized tomography) scan will provide images from multiple angles and can indicate whether there is bleeding or bruising in your brain. An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) produces images similar to, but more detailed than a CT scan. MRIs are rarely part of the initial evaluation of a brain injury, though, because they are extremely time-consuming and difficult to administer.
The Glasgow Coma Scale
Most health professionals accept and use the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to assess the level of a brain trauma. The GCS looks at three functionalities—the ability to move, the ability to speak and the ability to open your eyes. Based on observations, medical professionals will allocate points, with more points be given for higher functionality. The scores are totaled to give an overall assessment.
Frequently, medical professionals will factor in loss of consciousness and memory loss, as well. If you were unconscious for less than half an hour and had memory loss for less than 24 hours, your traumatic brain injury will be considered mild. If you lost consciousness for more than 24 hours or had memory loss for more than 7 day, your TBI will be deemed severe. Anything in between is considered a mild traumatic brain injury.
Contact Us to Set Up an Appointment
At Advantage Healthcare Systems, we have extensive experience working successfully with individuals who suffer any type of concussion, TBI or traumatic brain injury. Call us toll-free at 1-877-487-8289 or fill out the form provided below to schedule an assessment. We offer locations across Texas, including Fort Worth, Dallas and San Antonio.