The Complex Course of Brain Injuries
Auto collisions result in many varieties and degrees of brain injury. If the damage is relatively moderate, the problems can include chronic headaches, dizziness, decreased attention span, difficulty concentrating and moodiness.
However when the effects are catastrophic, the victim may be permanently institutionalized. Sometimes the injuries are overwhelmingly obvious. At other times they are much more subtle. It takes considerable time for neurosurgeons and neurologists to evaluate the true nature of the impairment. We work closely with our clients’ physicians to learn the scope of symptoms.
The Nature of Traumatic Brain Damage
There is no more devastating form of bodily loss than traumatic brain injury, or TBI. It can be expected that the damage will last throughout the victim’s lifetime. This, in turn, affects each of the family members in extraordinary ways.
The medical and legal literature underscores the tragic fact that, each year, about 80,000 Americans suffer permanent damage due to traumatic brain injury. Many of these catastrophes are the result of one negligent person failing to exercise a reasonable degree of care.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury takes place when external forces impact the head. This causes the brain to shake or collide violently against the skull. TBI can be caused by a number of different means – including car, motorcycle, and trucking accidents to name a few. We all are familiar with shaken baby syndrome (SBS). This is a too-common cause of TBI, and one of the leading causes of death for infants in the United States.
Lesser brain traumas also can create very serious damage to a victim’s life. Concussions, brain contusions, second impact syndrome, and open-head injuries are examples that are often the result of vehicle collisions.
Identifying Head Injuries
Most head injuries are initially classified as open or closed. The former involves a penetration of the skull. With the latter, the impact to the head can be extreme while not actually fracturing the skull. Nevertheless a major injury can result.
A concussion is often diagnosed if there has been a severe shaking of the head. These injuries are by far the most common form of traumatic brain injury. If there is a bruising of the brain, then that person has suffered a contusion. Upon entering the emergency room, the medical staff will give top priority to evaluating the exact type of injury sustained by the head. These injuries can cause major organs elsewhere in the body to malfunction.
Subdural hematoma or subarachnoid hemorrhage require immediate attention. Early medical care can prevent later catastrophic effects.
Treatment of Brain Injuries
The treating physicians will assess the condition with extensive neurological exams. These usually include MRI and CT scans, x-rays, various written tests and sometimes angiograms. Only after this involved testing can the appropriate treatment begin.
Swelling is often an important problem that needs to be addressed. The nursing staff may keep the top portion of the bed elevated slightly. This keeps the neck straight in order to drain fluid and relieve pressure in the brain. When there is a monitored restriction of fluid to the brain, swelling can be reduced and healing fostered.
The treating physician may prescribe diuretics to decrease fluid pressure, anticonvulsants to prevent seizures, or barbiturates to induce a coma. This is a calculated to prevent further brain swelling.
When a person has sustained a brain injury, the long-term medical goal is to stop any bleeding, decrease skull pressure, and maintain adequate blood flow to the brain. Despite the end of active treatment, there may still remain a long recuperation.
Cincinnati Brain Injury Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury can completely consume the time and vitality of an entire family. The last thing the victims and their loved ones need is a difficult fight with an auto insurance company that balks or refuses to pay compensation.