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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes loss of consciousness post an accident?

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Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3360 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 17 Apr 2018 in Brain and Spine
Question: About 20 years ago, the man then in my life assaulted me from behind one evening. He smashed my head into the hallway wall on my left. The left side of my head felt burning pain, I could feel my brain sloshing around in my skull, and my eyes could not focus well. I was still conscious for about 2-3 minutes and then I lost consciousness. I regained consciousness later that night, but I don't know how long I was out. I went to sleep. Hours later, I woke with an affected head in the morning. I left that household that morning as I had planned. I never went to a doctor. After almost 20 years, is there a way to establish how severe the blow and the damage were.
I do not have more information.Can you describe to me how he was able to push my head into the wall? I only felt pain (a lot) on the left side of my head--the place where my head was smashed into the wall. As he was behind me and this attack came as a complete XXXXXXX and I am not sure if he used his hands on the right side of my head to push my head to the left, I would appreciate it if you could speculate how he did this. I did not feel a strong impact on the right side of my head, such as a baseball bat (there was no such object in the apartment). The pain was all on the left side of my head.
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Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Head imaging may assess potential permanent damage.

Detailed Answer:
I read your question carefully and I understand your concern.

In order to visualize whether there was any damage to the brain or maybe also skull fractures due to the hit head imaging by MRI or CT scan may be scheduled. It would show remains of potential damage to the brain, sort of like scar tissue in the brain. Of course it can't assess how old it is, whether 10 or 20 years it would look the same, so would be able to say that it was due to the hit only if you have no other past traumatic events (say car accidents or falls). Whether I consider it necessary....not really, if there was significant damage you would have had manifestations in daily functioning (memory, judgment, behavior issues, seizures etc). So it wouldn't change much in terms of management, nothing would be done whatever the findings, but if it's really important to you it would be a means to visualize any damage.

As for the mechanics of how he pushed you....it is hard to say since there is no way by now to examine marks on the skin, side, angle etc. As you yourself suggest the most likely mechanism would be putting his hand on the right side of the head and violently pushing it against the wall. If there were any marks or fractures on the right though one can't exclude the possibility of him using an object to hit you on the right and you having forgotten it (some memory lapses are common in such traumatic events).

I remain at your disposal for other questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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