Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Children


More than one million people a year seek medical treatment for a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), and the largest group affected is between the ages of 15-24. Of that group, 30,000 children sustain permanent disabilities because of brain injuries. In fact, it is the leading cause of death and disability in children and young adults in the United States.Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries are serious for all ages, but we need to be aware of the signs of MTBI in our children.

What are the most common causes of MTBI?

  1. Motor vehicle accidents
  2. Bicycle- or pedestrian-related accidents
  3. Falls
  4. Acts of violence
  5. Sports-recreation injuries

What are the signs of MTBI?

  • Loss of consciousness for 30 minutes or less
  • Loss of memory of events immediately before and/or after the incident (Note: The loss of memory will be for a matter of hours not a matter of days.)
  • Change in mental status (i.e., feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused)
  • Behavioral changes (i.e., irritability, anger, disinhibition)

What do I do?

If you are afraid that your child or young adult has had a mild traumatic brain injury, take him or her to the doctor immediately and ask for an MRI, or more particularly a DTI (Diffusion tensor imaging). DTI is a special type of MRI that looks for white matter damage associated with a traumatic brain injury. Because a normal MRI or CAT scan might not show with specificity white matter damage, obtaining a DTI can be instrumental in helping your doctor determine whether a brain injury has occurred.

Slack & Davis personal injury attorneys have the legal experience and technical knowledge to handle complex cases that involve severe brain injuries. Our full-time, on-site legal nurse consultant addresses our clients’ specific medical questions and provides additional insight to help bridge the gap between legal and medical disciplines.