Brain injuries - often called concussions or closed head injuries - are a frequent consequence of car accidents. In South Carolina, and throughout the country, basic tests such as CT scans, are often done at the hospital. CT scans check for injuries such as a fractured skull or brain bleed (i.e. intracranial hemorrhage). Most of these tests come back normal. In the event of a normal CT, what else should be done?
The ER doctor will generally instruct patients who have sustained a concussion to follow up with their primary care doctor. The primary care doctor will in turn refer the patient to a neurologist should symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, or memory loss persist.
The first tests neurologists order are often an MRI and EEG. These tests check your brain activity. Much like CT scans, MRIs and EEGs may come back "normal" even though the patient with the closed head injury knows something is not right.
If you continue to experience headaches, changes in attitude, memory loss, or any other problem for more than several weeks after your car accident, you should ask your neurologist to consider more advanced testing. Tests such as Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging (SWI) are able to reveal injuries to the brain that traditional imaging misses.
We focus on helping people who have suffered brain injuries from car wrecks in South Carolina, and want you to consider us a resource in finding the right doctors, tests, and treatment. We have seen far too many people get released by their neurologist simply because the MRI came back negative. If "something has been different since the accident," and you find yourself in need of answers and direction, call me today at (803) 790-2800.