Sometimes, when you’re involved in a serious collision the injuries won’t appear right away. These injuries, better known as delayed-onset injuries, may take time to develop because of a slow bleed or lower level of inflammation that grows over time.
The problem with head injuries in particular is that they can be very serious before the symptoms occur. Then, as the symptoms worsen, it may be harder or impossible to reverse the damage.
If you’re in a crash, seek medical attention immediately
If you get into a car crash, it is wise to seek medical attention as soon as you can. That way, you can minimize the risk of any unknown injuries worsening when you are at home or doing other things in the days after the crash.
It’s important not to assume that you’re not hurt or to assume that a headache or other minor injury isn’t related to a much larger underlying problem. It takes only a short time to be seen by an emergency medical technician and medical provider at a local hospital. Even though going to the hospital might feel like it’s unnecessary, you would be surprised by how many people have serious injuries but don’t notice them in the moments following a crash.
How soon will you feel the symptoms of a head injury?
You may not feel symptoms of the brain injury right away. You might have a minor bruise right after the crash, for example, but that could continue to develop over the next several hours or days. It’s impossible to say exactly how long it will take before you know that you have a head injury, because your body’s reaction to the collision (including the release of adrenaline and other chemicals) may cover up symptoms of serious injuries for a short time.
After a crash, your priority should be to see a medical professional as soon as you can. Doing this will minimize the risk of your injuries worsening and may give the medical team time to stop the progression of a brain bleed or other serious complication of being involved in the crash.