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Traumatic brain injury: Causes and complications

A traumatic brain injury can alter your life in a number of ways. From your personal well-being to your ability to hold down a job, this is one of the most serious injuries you can suffer.

There are many common causes of traumatic brain injuries, including the following:

  • Falls: This can include a slip and fall on the ground or a fall from height. For example, if you work on scaffolding, a fall to the ground could cause a serious head injury.
  • Motor vehicle accident: If you're involved in a motor vehicle accident, your head could strike everything from the steering wheel to the windshield to a piece of flying debris.
  • Explosive blasts: It may not be something you worry about often, but, depending on your industry, it could come into play. For example, if you work in construction or demolition, extremely loud noises are not out of the question. Without proper protection, this could result in a traumatic brain injury, among other damage.

A traumatic brain injury can lead to many complications, including altered consciousness. This takes on many forms, such as:

  • Coma
  • Vegetative state
  • Minimally conscious state
  • Brain death

All of these things are extremely dangerous, as they can lead to pain, discomfort and even death in the most serious of cases.

A traumatic brain injury can also cause physical complications, with these among the most common:

  • Seizures
  • Infections
  • Blood vessel damage
  • Headaches
  • Vertigo
  • Fluid accumulation in the brain

All of these complications require immediate attention, as this can lessen the likelihood of the injury causing long-term complications.

If you present at a hospital with a suspected traumatic brain injury, expect your medical team to run a variety of tests to clearly outline what's happening.

After stabilization, you can learn more about the cause of your injury, your prognosis and the type of treatment that comes next.

When possible, you should learn more about the impact of your injury on your employment status. Since a traumatic brain injury is serious, it's safe to assume you won't be returning to work in the immediate future.

This should lead you to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits, as the money you receive allows you to more easily deal with the financial impact of your accident, injuries and the recovery process.

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