Do Not Underestimate the Effects of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries can have permanent, debilitating effects.
June 20, 2012 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Florida neurological surgeons are at the forefront of medical professionals seeking to build better public awareness of the long-term effects of traumatic brain injuries, better known as TBIs. A TBI results when force is applied to the skull sufficient to damage the brain. Each year nearly two million traumatic brain injuries occur. The short- and long-term effects of a TBI can be catastrophic, including paralysis, loss of mental acuity, loss of speech, stroke or even death.
Who Is Injured?
Any blunt-force blow or piercing injury to the head can result in a TBI. Surprisingly little force is actually required; falls, combat sports, low-speed car accidents and assaults can all impact a person's skull enough to cause the damage. Perhaps most troubling is the fact that TBI is the foremost cause of disability and death for children age 14 and under.
Immediate Effects and Treatment
When a TBI occurs, the immediate damage includes bruising of brain tissue as it is jarred inside the skull, bleeding, blood clots, skull fractures and nerve damage.
Emergency treatment focuses on ensuring the brain is adequately oxygenated and controlling excess pressure inside the skull. The injured person will usually receive a CT scan or MRI to more closely examine the sensitive brain tissues and look for evidence of damage. Medical staff will also use other tests and interviews to diagnose the severity and extent of the TBI.
To help limit long-term effects, patients might receive drugs to induce unconsciousness (a medically induced coma) and reduce the body's need for high levels of oxygen. Oftentimes, a TBI sufferer will need a surgical procedure to relieve intracranial pressure to help prevent additional damage and stave off seizures -- this is known as a craniotomy.
Persistent Effects of a TBI
After the primary injury, recovery from a TBI can take a long time, and some effects might linger forever. Cognitive long-term symptoms may include problems with memory - particularly short-term memory loss - and logical thinking. In some TBI victims, either expressing or comprehending language may be impaired. Some people who've had a TBI experience changes in sensations, such as an altered or diminished sense of smell and taste or a feeling of numbness in some areas of the body.
Prominent Florida surgeons note that while concussions get most of the attention, people need to realize that 10 or 15 years later there are still likely to be issues to deal with after a TBI.
For some patients and their families, the brain damage goes beyond the physical. For some time after a TBI, an injured person could be depressed, anxious, persistently agitated or unusually aggressive. Some may undergo an emotional change so shocking it is akin to a "personality change." Others act out inappropriately, have sudden mood shifts or find themselves unable to comfortably socialize with friends and family.
Medical expenses mount up, and anyone who sustains a TBI should seek legal advice and assistance to be sure of adequate compensation to cover all the costs resulting from the injury.
Article provided by Alan S Neufeld & Assoc
Visit us at www.neufeldlawfirm.com/
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