Brain Injuries and Whiplash Going Unnoticed Following Car Accidents

By Doctor of Chiropractic Dennis Mutell

Most medical professionals recommend getting checked out following an auto accident, even when you don’t experience any physical pain.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is becoming a “hot topic” as it relates to motor vehicle collisions (MVC).  The question is: how often is TBI missed?

The simple answer: FREQUENTLY!  This is due to the fact that attention is often drawn toward other injuries such as a neck injury or a limb injury.  One study found that doctors were more likely to miss a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) diagnosis in patients who sustained an arm or leg fracture.  Among a total of 251 trauma patients, only 8.8 percent were diagnosed with mTBI at the time of injury vs. 23.5 percent who were eventually diagnosed at a later date.  The authors of the study noted the importance for healthcare providers to not be overly focused on the most obvious injury, as it may result in missing an mTBI diagnosis and the opportunity for early management of the condition—potentially leading to greater pain, suffering, and long-term disability.

Sobering facts:

  • About 1.7 miion cases of TBI occur in the US annually, and approximately 5.3 million live with a disability caused by TBI
  • Annual direct and indirect TBI costs are estimated at $48-56 billion
  • Among children under fourteen years of age, TBI results in 2,685 deaths and 37,000 hospitalizations
  • Between 50-70% of TBI accidents are the result of a motor vehicle crash.

Additionally, whiplash is another injury resulting from many car crashes that can have long-term effects.  In fact, the majority of patients diagnosed with whiplash require months of chiropractic follow-ups.  Unfortunately, it takes very little force to cause whiplash—less than 12 miles per hour—and most occur from rear-end collisions.

Both TBI and whiplash require quick, accurate diagnosis.  Most medical professionals recommend getting checked out following an auto accident, even when you don’t experience any physical pain.  Injuries like mTBI and whiplash can appear hours, days and sometimes weeks after an accident.

In some cases, auto insurance covers the cost of treatments so it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Dr. Dennis Mutell has over 30 years of chiropractic experience with credentials in Documentation of Spinal Trauma, MRI, Bone Scan, Head Trauma, Concussion, TBI and X-ray Protocols for the Trauma Patient.

To schedule an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Mutell, call Back Pain Relief at (985) 875-2225.

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