Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. At Andrew Stinnette, your Florida auto accident attorneys, we can help. We ensure you receive the proper medical care from the beginning, so that all injuries may be properly assessed before they can become a worse condition. Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness, and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
- Dilated eye pupils
Health care professionals use a neurological exam and imaging tests to assess TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. Treatment and outcome depend on how severe the injury is. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language, or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.
A traumatic brain injury is devastating. Unfortunately, it can happen to anyone at any time, quickly turning life into a struggle for survival. Mounting medical bills, impaired cognition, unrecoverable physical and emotional losses, financial and personal stress, and a feeling of helplessness can all haunt victims and their families for years to come. Brain injuries can cause serious disabilities or coma. In the worst cases, they result in death. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimate that 50,000 people die each year from traumatic head injuries and that 80,000 will suffer from lifelong problems as a result.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, Andrew Stinnette Personal Injury Attorneys offers our sincere condolences. We understand that no amount of money can ever make up for the loss that you have experienced or turn back the clock. We are committed to standing by your side during this difficult time and will do everything in our power to seek justice and the fair compensation that you deserve.
Whether the accident occurred as a result of a fall, car collision, medical malpractice, assault, or any other reason, we can help you understand your options. Even if your injury does not seem severe (some are so subtle they can only be identified by professionals), you have the right to seek compensation from the at fault party. In fact, even acute injuries can cause problems later in life, though they may seem harmless today. Because of this, it is important that you seek medical and legal attention as soon as possible. Please, do not wait to ask for help; we are here to make sure that you don’t have to bear this burden alone. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, don’t wait to speak to a lawyer.
Is this a permanent condition?
Is there any treatment?
Anyone with signs of moderate or severe TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Because little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, medical personnel try to stabilize an individual with TBI and focus on preventing further injury. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure. Imaging tests help in determining the diagnosis and prognosis of a TBI patient. Patients with mild to moderate injuries may receive skull and neck X-rays to check for bone fractures or spinal instability. For moderate to severe cases, the imaging test is a computed tomography(CT) scan. Moderately to severely injured patients receive rehabilitation that involves individually tailored treatment programs in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physiatry (physical medicine), psychology/psychiatry, and social support.
What is Prognosis?
Approximately half of severely head-injured patients will need surgery to remove or repair hematomas (ruptured blood vessels) or contusions (bruised brain tissue). Disabilities resulting from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, and the age and general health of the individual. Some common disabilities include problems with cognition (thinking, memory, and reasoning), sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), communication (expression and understanding), and behavior or mental health (depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness). More serious head injuries may result in stupor, an unresponsive state, but one in which an individual can be aroused briefly by a strong stimulus, such as a sharp pain; coma, a state in which as individual is totally unconscious, unresponsive, and unaware; vegetative state, in which an individual is unconscious and unaware of his or her surroundings, but continues to have a sleep-wake cycle and periods of alertness; and a persistent vegetative state (PVS), in which an individual stays in a vegetative state for more than a month.
What research is being done?
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) conducts TBI research in its laboratories at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and also supports TBI research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. This research involves studies in the laboratory and in clinical settings to better understand TBI and the biological mechanisms underlying damage to the brain. This research will allow scientists to develop strategies and interventions to limit the primary and secondary brain damage that occurs within days of a head trauma, and to devise therapies to treat brain injury and improve long-term recovery of function.