For years, perhaps decades, people thought of concussions as relatively minor injuries. They would say things about how someone “got their bell rung” or how they needed to “walk it off.” We knew that workers who suffered from concussions were injured, but there was the thought that it was a mild issue that they could overcome quickly. Things like cuts and broken bones were given more thought.
Today, though, people have begun taking concussions much more seriously. The first step is to realize that concussions are traumatic brain injuries. There is nothing minor about them. Just because you can’t see the physical damage does not mean it hasn’t happened. The worker has damaged their brain, the most sensitive and delicate organ, and the ramifications can be dire.
For instance, repeated concussions may lead to something known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). This can cause the “progressive degeneration of the brain tissue.” This degeneration lasts for life. It can bring on symptoms like:
- Memory loss
- Impaired judgment
- Impulse control problems
- Progressive dementia
These are life-changing ailments. “Walking it off” does not help. Injured workers need prompt medical care from professionals. They also need protection from concussions on the job so that they do not have numerous incidents in a row. The more concussions a person suffers, and the more severe they become, the greater the chances that they’ll develop CTE.
If you have suffered a brain injury on the job, you may be well aware that your life may never be the same. Make sure you know what options you have and what to do moving forward.