Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When should a neurological follow up take place if someone's been in a car accident?"
I am a 28 year old woman who was in a car accident. Should I seek neurological attention? I have had difficulty concentration since the incident.
Car accidents can be very frightening and you should definitely make sure that you seek follow-up with a physician to make sure that you are okay following any possible injuries. First, anyone involved in an accident should be evaluated by an emergency room physician. This can help rule out any obvious injuries (fracture, bleeding) from an initial trauma.
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Then, it is also important to follow-up with your primary care physician in the days following an accident. As it sounds like you have experienced, accidents and injuries can often lead to problems that don't manifest themselves right away. Your primary care physician can examine you and find out what symptoms (if any) have been bothering you since the accident to determine if you need any additional follow-up. Depending on the nature of your complaints and the details of the accident (did you hit your head or did your neck snap forwards in a whiplash injury, for example), you may benefit from evaluation by other specialists or by physical therapy. With regard to possible head injuries, any changes in mental processing or other changes in hearing, vision, headaches, etc. should be evaluated by a physician, possibly a neurologist. Even a minor concussion can cause these symptoms and there can be more serious consequences from more sustained trauma. Your primary doctor can help order any imaging tests that might be needed and help you find an appropriate specialist for further evaluation. In addition, if you experience the acute onset of a severe headache, vision changes, dizziness or other changes in your thinking, you should seek immediate care at the nearest emergency department.
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