Traumatic brain Injuries

There are countless accidents every single day where people end up with serious injuries that will impact the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, a lot of people who experience a car accident or other type of accident end up hitting their head and suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that changes the way that their brain functions. When someone experiences this, there is no telling how long the TBI will last since the severity can be quite mild or very severe. There are cases where a patient will recuperate from a TBI in just a few hours or days and others where the effects last for the rest of the person’s life. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury because of the negligent actions of another person or entity you should contact a personal injury attorney in Brooklyn NY as soon as possible.

Mild traumatic brain injuries

You are probably familiar with the term “concussion” and know that a concussion happens to someone when they bump their head in an accident, but you probably don’t know that mild TBIs are often referred to as concussions. According to medical professionals, these concussions cause people’s mental status to change and can even cause them to lose consciousness for up to 30 minutes. 

There are known cases where a person who suffered such a concussion gets a score of 13 to 15 on the Glasgow coma scale. This is a neurological scale that medical professionals utilize in order to determine a patient’s state of consciousness. A person’s score on the Glasgow coma scale can range from 3 to 15. The score helps medical professionals to know how severe the brain injury is. Sometimes there are no obvious signs that the patient has suffered a head injury because even MRIs and CAT scans will fail to detect any damage.

People who have suffered a mild TBI can still experience various degrees of change with their sense of smell, sense of taste, anxiety, depression, dizziness, drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, migraines, confusion, insomnia, memory loss, mood changes, and other symptoms. Any of these symptoms might not appear for a few days or even weeks after the accident, which is why a diagnosis might not be made until long after the person suffers a TBI.

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injuries

When a person suffers a moderate TBI, he or she will experience a lot of the same symptoms that are associated with mild TBIs. The main difference between the two is that moderate TBIs last for a longer period of time and can even get worse. When a person experiences head trauma that causes a moderate traumatic brain injury, that person can lose consciousness for as long as six hours and score from 9 to 12 on the Glasgow coma scale.

Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries

More serious accidents can cause a person to experience a severe TBI that can lead to the loss of consciousness for more than 6 hours, making this a lot worse than the previous cases. Someone with a severe traumatic brain injury will score from 3 to 8 on the Glasgow Coma Scale, clearly indicating the severity of the person’s situation. 

How bad the TBI happens to be depends on various factors such as how severe the injury that caused it was, the person’s physiological functions that are affected, how completely the person can recover, and what recovery and rehabilitation options the person has at his or her disposal. One of the worst things about severe TBIs is that they can cause neurological damage that can lead to permanent loss of functions such as attention, comprehension, concentration, memory, speech, taste, vision, and others. 

People who have to deal with this situation can also suffer emotional and psychological trauma as a direct result. Common issues include aggression, depression, mood swings, and others that impact their lives in a negative way. A severe TBI can also lead to physical changes such as diminished or loss of bladder control, chronic pain, seizures, and others.

Recovering from a TBI

It is imperative that the person is properly diagnosed by a competent physician so that he or she can get adequate treatment. While mild traumatic brain injuries might be treated with just some rest and basic over the counter medication, the person should still be monitored for at least a few days to make sure that there are no worsening or new symptoms that can indicate a more severe TBI. 

A person who has suffered a mild traumatic brain injury will need a lot more time to recover, as well as prescription medication. This generally means a few weeks of inactivity and following a physician’s treatment plan. Of course, a severe traumatic brain injury is going to require a lot more time and rehabilitation for the person to recover from it, precisely how much depends on each specific case. There are various lines of thought that have been proposed in order to understand how a person’s brain recovers from a TBI.

·         Diaschisis

Diaschisis holds that recovery is, to a great extent, dependent on tissue health. Areas of the brain which were not injured influence areas that were so that they can heal.  

·         Replacement

Replacement holds that when a damaged area of the brain can no longer handle its normal functions as a result of a TBI, another area of the brain will begin to perform those functions, essentially taking over once it is needed. 

·         Redundancy

Redundancy is a lot like replacement. It is generally held that different areas of the brain are able to perform the same functions, so when one area of the brain fails as a result of a TBI another area of the brain continues to perform those functions.

Devastating effects

Both mild and moderate traumatic brain injuries can be dealt with in a relatively short amount of time without affecting a person’s life too much. However, when the TBI is severe it will take long-term care and treatment which can have a devastating effect on the injured person and his or her loved ones. Unfortunately, a traumatic brain injury can forever change a person’s life for the worse and affect his or her relationship with friends and family. 

Most people have a very difficult time dealing with such a situation because no one ever expects it and it makes life a lot more difficult for everyone involved. The financial burden is overwhelming and can tear families apart. This is one of the reasons why you should contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or a family member has suffered a severe TBI. The law allows you to sue for compensation and your attorney will be able to advise you about the best way to go about it.