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Open head injuries can be easily identified, but what happens if you have a closed head injury? Closed head injuries occur when there is trauma to the brain that does not result in a skull fracture. Because the injury does not cause a skull fracture, a closed head injury may go unnoticed and untreated for several days.

Closed head injuries commonly occur during a car accident. During a wreck the force can cause the brain to move back and forth within the skull causing damage to nerve fibers and brain tissue. In fact, a closed head injury can even occur without the head actually making contact with an object.

The two most common types of closed head injuries a victim receives after a car accident is either a concussion or a contusion. A concussion occurs when the brain receives trauma from an impact, sudden momentum change, or a sudden movement. A contusion occurs most often when there is a direct impact to the head resulting in a bruise (bleeding) on the brain.

The Glascow Coma Scale (GCS) is used during the assessment of neurological injuries. Doctors and other medical care providers use the GCS to determine the severity of the injury to the brain. The GCS uses the terms Mild Brain Injury, Moderate Brain Injury, and Severe Brain Injury to describe the level of the initial injury to the brain. However, even a Mild Brain Injury is serious.

If you or a loved one has recently been involved in a car wreck, here are some common symptoms to look for in determining if a closed head injury has occurred:

1. Headaches;
2. Fatigue;
3. Dizziness;
4. Blurred vision;
5. Trouble concentrating;
6. Bothered by noise;
7. Bothered by light;
8. Irritability;
9. Lack of patience;
10. Temper;
11. Loss of memory;
12. Anxiety; and
13. Insomnia.

If you or your loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms please contact a doctor immediately. A failure to take these symptoms seriously can potentially lead to prolonged or non-reversible brain damage.

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