As a Missouri & Illinois brain injury lawyer, I represent many victims of car accidents, and other causes of injury, who suffer from various brain injuries. Proper evaluation of a head injury requires early documentation of complaints and discussing all the potential symptoms with the injured person to make sure they are realizing all the symptoms they may be suffering as a result of a concussion or other injury. Concussions and Post-Concussion Syndrome is largely a subjective diagnosis, meaning the physicians rely heavily on the patient’s reporting of problems as opposed to objective tests, such as a CT or MRI. In fact, about 85% of patients suffering from concussions have no signs of the injury visible on a CT. Physicians have developed the Post Concussion Test – PCSS and the Mayo Clinic has their own version referred to as the Mayo Concussion Test.
Below is a video by Mayo Clinic Neurologists discussing the importance of the testing in Concussion cases and the challenges of evaluating Post-Concussion Syndrome.
Taking this test early and often and evaluation by a neurologist are very important to the diagnosis of the severity of the concussion. Children’s Hospital Neurologists have published articles showing that the higher the score on the above Post-Concussion tests, the more likely the patient will suffer the symptoms for a longer period of time or maybe even permanently.
“The higher the score, the greater chance of a prolonged recovery time”
Dr. William P. Meehan, III and colleagues from Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center analyzed data from 182 patients who were seen at a sports concussion clinic within 3 weeks of injury. Patients completed the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale (PCSS), which contains 22 different symptoms that they ranked from 0-6 (0 = not experiencing a given symptom; 6 = describing the symptom as “severe”). Patients were separated into 2 groups: those who were symptom-free within 28 days and those who had symptoms for longer than 28 days. After analyzing data for numerous variables, including total score of the PCSS at initial visit, age, and amnesia symptoms, only the total score on the PCSS was independently associated with symptoms lasting longer than 28 days; the higher the score, the greater chance of a prolonged recovery time.
Elsevier Health Sciences (2013, April 25). More severe concussion symptoms lead to longer recovery time.
The most common defense in car accident cases and other injury cases where a head injury is involved, is that the symptoms are not objectively diagnosed and that the problems likely evaporated after a couple of weeks. So it is very important to have an experienced brain injury attorney on your side to help guide you with proper medical treatment and to make certain that the legal approach to your case is done properly and effectively, to guarantee full recovery of all your past and future harms and losses. This is important in the minor car accident case to the traumatic brain injury case resulting in permanent neurological problems such as coma, paralysis, or debilitating cognitive deficits.