The nature of a brain injury makes it difficult for the sufferer to identify that they are experiencing one. As such, when you are biking in groups, it is important for everyone to have some knowledge about what a brain injury might look like to others.
This is especially true for traumatic brain injuries (TBI) which are severe enough that they often require immediate medical attention.
Mayo Clinic examines some of the most common signs of traumatic brain injuries. Due to the sheer severity, many TBIs have outward-presenting symptoms that are easy to pick up on. For example, disordered consciousness often occurs. This results in a victim passing out, blacking out, or having spotty consciousness where they drift in and out of “feeling awake”. They may even fall into a coma.
Physical red flags
You may also see cerebrospinal fluid leaks. This manifests in clear fluid that often leaks from the ears or nose after head trauma. This indicates a very pressing and serious injury which you must seek medical treatment for as quickly as possible. It can indicate tears in the spinal column and may lead to brain swelling or dehydration.
The victim may seem very bothered by lights, too. TBIs often leave victims suffering with painful headaches or migraines. Bright light often worsens this pain, so you may notice a victim trying to shield their eyes or escape from lights. You may also notice that their pupils dilate unevenly.
All brain injuries need immediate medical attention, but this is especially true for TBIs. If you notice any of these symptoms, err on the side of caution and seek medical help right away.