Concussions are common enough that most Emergency Rooms think they know how to handle them. After all, concussions can be caused by car accidents, bicycle accidents, sports injuries, trips and falls, and hundreds of other daily incidents. Doctors and nurses see concussions on a daily basis, and will often make a quick diagnosis and recommend rest for the patient.
A quick diagnosis is usually a good thing, as it means the proper treatment is provided with minimal delay. Prompt treatment usually leads to better outcomes, and potential bad outcomes are common with serious concussions. Most people know the dangers of concussions, which include:
- Bruising to the soft tissue of the brain
- Nerve damage
- Damage to blood vessels
These are all important aspects of why a concussion is so dangerous, but many people (including medical professionals) are unaware of one of the biggest risks associated with concussions. Whenever the brain is damaged, particularly the blood vessels, there is a risk of oxygen deprivation.
Bruising mostly heals, and most damage to nerves and blood vessels will repair itself given suitable time and rest. But the damage done by oxygen deprivation is frequently unrepairable, because the tissue actually dies. Despite the risk of oxygen deprivation with nearly every concussion, many hospitals do not even attempt to screen for it. Instead, they recommend a course of treatment that assumes the brain is able to heal, even though there is a very real possibility more serious damage was done.
If you or someone you love has suffered a concussion, it is important proper medical care is provided, and that means it is important full and complete testing is done to determine the extent of the injury. If you suffer serious complications due to your injury, and if you suspect the hospital or doctor who treated you did not perform the necessary tests to make a proper diagnosis, please retain an experienced attorney to help you push for the answers you need.