A negligent driver or property owner, for example, can cause serious injuries that have life-long health and financial consequences. Traumatic brain injury is one catastrophic injury that can change a person’s life.
What is TBI?
A TBI is a sudden injury that causes brain damage. A blow, bump or jolt to the head may cause this injury. A TBI can also include a penetrating injury when an object penetrates a person’s skull.
TBI symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. Concussion are a mild TBI. Its effects can be serious, but most people recover over time. More serious TBI injuries have serious physical and psychological symptoms. These can lead to a coma or even death.
TBI injuries may be permanent. A TBI also puts people at risk for anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other injuries.
Men are more likely to suffer a TBI injury than women and are more prone to have a serious TBI. Adults who are 65 and older have a greater risk of being hospitalized and suffering a fatal TBI injury.
Many times, TBI follows a personal injury accident. Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of TBI in young adults.
Other causes include falls which can occur in a store or other public property. Falls are the most common cause of TBI in adults who are at least 65 years old.
Being struck by an object, blast injuries from explosions, and sports injuries are other prevalent causes. Child abuse is the most common cause for children under four years old.
Penetrating injuries are commonly caused by being hit by a bullet or shrapnel, a head injury that makes a bone fragment penetrate the skull and being hit by a hammer, knife, baseball bat or other weapon.
A person may simultaneously suffer closed and penetrating TBI injuries. These are usually caused by explosions, natural disasters, and other extreme events.
Mild TBI symptoms may include brief loss of consciousness even though some people may stay conscious after a mild injury, headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision, tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste, fatigue or lethargy, changing sleep patterns changes in behavior or mood, and difficulty with memory, concentration, attention or thinking. These symptoms may also accompany moderate or severe TBI.
Other moderate or severe TBI symptoms include a headache that worsens or will not go away, repeating nausea or vomiting, convulsions, seizures, inability to wake up from sleep, eye pupil dilation, slurred speech, arm and leg weakness and numbness, coordination loss, and increased confusion or agitation.
A heath care provider will speak to an injured person about their symptoms and the injury details. They will also perform a neurological examination, may have imaging tests done such as a CT scan and use a Glasgow coma scale that measures a person’s ability to open their eyes, speak and move. Neuropsychological tests can check brain function.
Treatments depend on the brain injury’s size, severity, and location. Rest is the main treatment for mild TBI. Over-the-counter drugs can help provide relief from headaches. Heath providers may also instruct complete rest with a gradual return to normal activities.
Moderate to severe TBI treatments first require stabilization of the inured person to prevent further injury. Health care providers will also manage blood pressure, check pressure inside the skull and assure that sufficient bod and oxygen flow to the brain.
After the injured person is stabilized, surgery may be needed to reduce additional damage such as clotted blood and eliminate damage or dead brain tissue, repair skull fracturs and relieve skull pressure. An array of medicines may be prescribed.
Rehabilitation therapies can help with physical, emotional, and cognitive problems. These include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, psychological counseling, and cognitive therapy.
A person may seek compensation ad damages to pay for these treatment and other losses. An attorney can help them file a lawsuit and pursue their case in negotiations and trials.