What Is The Difference Between Mild, Moderate, & Severe Brain Injuries

Anytime an individual sustains a significant bump or blow to the head or body, or if their body is rapidly jerked back and forth, they could sustain a brain injury. However, there are various levels of brain injuries that can affect individuals, and there is a difference between a mild, moderate, and severe brain injury.

Mild Brain Injuries

Individuals can sustain various types of mild traumatic brain injuries, but you will often see these referred to as concussions. According to information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we can see that most traumatic brain injuries that occur each year are mild in nature. These incidents can be caused by any type of bump or blow to the head or a hit to the body that leads to the head or brain moving back and forth rapidly.

The physical and sensory symptoms related to a mild traumatic brain injury include:

  • A headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Problems with speech
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Issues with taste or smell
  • Sensitivity to light or sound

There are some cognitive and behavioral issues that could be caused by a mild traumatic brain injury, including:

  • Brief loss of consciousness
  • Brief state of confusion or disorientation
  • Concentration or memory issues
  • Mood swings or changes
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than normal

Moderate Brain Injuries

Individuals who sustain moderate traumatic brain injuries will experience all of the same symptoms as those who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury, but the symptoms will likely be worse and last longer.

Some of the physical symptoms that could differentiate between a mild and moderate traumatic brain injury include:

  • Longer loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  • Headaches that are persistent or worsen over time
  • Continued nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Pupil dilation
  • Numbness or weakness in the fingers or toes

The cognitive or behavioral symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury will be similar to those who sustain a mild traumatic brain injury, but this type of injury could be characterized by profound confusion, combativeness, agitation, slurred speech, and more.

Severe Brain Injuries

Severe traumatic brain injuries are typically known right away and are often characterized by immediate loss of consciousness along with a significant possibility of physical signs of trauma. This can include blood or clear fluid coming from the nose or ears of the individual harmed.

Severe brain injury victims will experience the same types of symptoms as moderate brain injury victims, but these symptoms will typically be worse or last longer. Individuals who sustain severe traumatic brain injuries often suffer from lifelong permanent disabilities, both cognitive and physical.

Children’s Brain Injuries

It is important to point out that the signs and symptoms of brain injuries and children often look vastly different than the signs and symptoms in adults. Infants and younger children are often not able to communicate that they are having the same types of symptoms that could indicate a brain injury has occurred. If a parent or guardian notices any of the following symptoms, it is important for them to seek immediate medical care for the child:

  • Changes in nursing or eating habits
  • Unusual crying or irritability
  • An inability to be consoled
  • Changes in their focus level
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities or toys

If you are suffering from an injury, contact our Seattle brain injury attorneys at Washington Injury Law.