Can a brain injury occur if a victim does not lose consciousness?

One of the questions that I get all the time in head injury cases is, “Well can a person even have a head injury or a traumatic brain injury if they didn’t lose consciousness?”

Well first of all, we’ve got to understand what losing consciousness means. I used to think it meant somebody gets completely knocked out cold, put to sleep like in a boxing match where their eyes are shut and they’re just down for the count, we used to call it. That’s not what doctors consider loss of consciousness. Doctors say it’s a loss of consciousness if the person sees stars, their ears are ringing, they lose their balance, those sorts of things. It’s not a complete loss of consciousness, but what it is it’s a loss of normal consciousness. Anytime somebody sees stars, hears bells, those sorts of things, doctors would tell us that’s a loss of consciousness.

Absolutely, somebody can suffer a traumatic brain injury in those situations.

One thought on “Can a brain injury occur if a victim does not lose consciousness?

  1. Tammy Dashnaw says:

    Today, I received medical records from my accident back in 2006. I’ve had problems with my memory and it has gotten increasingly worse over time. I don’t remember losing consciousness but at the same time I think I do because I remember seeing the car come at me and saying to my father, “What the f*** is” then the next thing I remember is looking around and trying to breath and saying, “OMG, What just happened.” I didn’t remember the latter part until very recently (maybe a year ago). I know something is wrong with me especially when I am overwhelmed, suffering anxiety, sick, tired or if too many things are going on at once. I can’t do more than one thing at a time and I have to finish that one thing or I’ll forget what I am doing and sometimes even during the task I forget what I am trying to do. I have conversations and if someone interrupts me I get disoriented and can’t remember what I was talking about, When it’s really bad I sound like I’ve been in Grammy’s liquor cabinet. I can’t remember where I put stuff (more than the average person my age), I’ve even spent hours looking for stuff. Last week I spent quite a bit of time looking for my sneakers….they were on my feet the entire time. I lost a job as a dishwasher because I couldn’t remember what dish went where and after the last time I asked, another head cook told the person I had asked, “Don’t answer her she’s like talking to a brick fing wall.” I have to get reminder calls for my appointments because I forget them despite the fact that they are on every electronic device in my home. My brother lives with me. I do really well with detailed shopping lists….It has to be specific right down to name brand, size of what ever I am supposed to buy. If the store is crowded or noisy I get distracted and forget what I am supposed to get, I can’t complete a full sentence sometimes and I get over emotional about certain things. I forget if I’ve taken my meds (Now controlled by my brother after an overdose). It’s weird, I can remember things if they are horrible and traumatic….I can’t remember dates, times, work history, living history, boss’, supervisors, people, how old I am, phone numbers, my wedding day, information on my kids that many moms have memorized forward backwards and vertically…I have made appointments to have myself tested but I’ve missed them all (some because I was just too afraid to find out and to have it in black and white as opposed to just something I know. I know something is wrong but I don’t want it to be on paper. I remember maybe 80% of my life BEFORE the accident. Some of it may be distorted and facts may be misplaced. I can remember some things but most times I have to be reminded. The only appointments I’ve missed very minimum are my case management meetings and that is because she comes to my house and I have no life so of course I’m home.

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