Changes in Traumatic Brain Injury
I’m Ed Smith, a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Over the past several decades, a significant amount of research has been done regarding head and neck injuries. Because of the potential for these injuries to wreak havoc on the life of an individual, research dollars have been put into numerous projects. In spite of this, traumatic brain injuries still happen. While some wounds to the head and brain are treated successfully, they can still cause permanent disability or even death. Recently, a research project was conducted exploring the causes of these devastating injuries.
Statistics: Numbers from the CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently published a new, sweeping review of traumatic brain injuries. According to their facts and figures:
- During the first ten years of the new millennium, more than 650,000 people visited the emergency department for a traumatic brain injury related to a slip and fall accident. Of these patients, more than 10 percent of them had to be hospitalized for their injuries. This led to nearly 11,000 deaths.
- Car accidents were also among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries over this period. Close to a quarter of a million people visited the ER for a traumatic brain injury related to an auto accident. Over 50,000 of these individuals were hospitalized and close to 15,000 died. This makes car accidents the leading cause of death due to traumatic brain injury during this period.
- Assault and homicide were also responsible for close to 200,000 visits to the ER due to traumatic brain injury. Out of these people, 15,000 were hospitalized and close to 6,000 people died. This does not include nearly 15,000 people who committed suicide over this period.
- Other causes of traumatic brain injuries included sports-related incidents, such as football, basketball, soccer, and skiing.
From prior years, it would appear that the number and rate of traumatic brain injuries are increasing. This is due to an improvement in our ability to diagnose traumatic brain injuries. The advent of CT scans and MRIs have made it easier for physicians to diagnose traumatic brain injuries. This means that people can receive treatment sooner and has led to improved prognosis.
Furthermore, these numbers highlight just how common brain injuries are. Despite new treatment methods, traumatic brain injuries are still devastating.
Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injuries
When someone has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, there are essential steps that must be taken. First, the individual needs to be stabilized. Blood needs to circulate to the rest of the body, which requires a steady heartbeat. Blood also needs to carry oxygen, requiring a patent airway. Once this has been done, the next step is to treat the head injury. The individual’s blood pressure will be managed to ensure that it is stable. However, too much blood flow to the head can cause swelling. Sometimes, an acute injury will already cause swelling of the brain. Should this be the case, emergency surgery could be required to relieve pressure in and around the skull. This procedure is called a craniotomy and can be life-saving. Once the acute injury has been treated, long-term rehabilitation will start. This will help the patient regain his or her baseline function as much as possible.
Prevention of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While the treatment of traumatic brain injuries has improved, prevention of traumatic brain injuries is more important. It is always easier to prevent these injuries from occurring than to treat them after they have happened. Some of the ways these injuries can be prevented include:
- Wear a helmet while riding a bike, motorcycle, or while playing sports.
- Do not speed while driving or riding a motorcycle. Speeding increases the forces at the point of impact, worsening injuries.
- Take extra care while walking or driving on slick surfaces, such as wet or icy roads.
- If any impact is sustained to the head, seek medical care immediately. Faster diagnoses mean improved prognoses.
An Attorney Can Provide Help
If a family is processing the reality of a traumatic brain injury, numerous additional issues can arise during a hospital visit. Some common problems that families deal with include:
- Logistics, such as arranging for childcare, taking time off of work, and handling errands with a loved one in a hospital.
- Property insurance claims related to an accident, including car damage, motorcycle damage, and possibly other losses.
- Health insurance issues, such as claims related to emergency care, surgical procedures, and a stay in an intensive care unit.
- Accident investigation.
- Review of medical records.
While these are issues that many people overlook while focusing on medical care, they still add stress to an already stressful situation. Meeting with a traumatic brain injury lawyer in Sacramento can help. A lawyer has both the expertise and training necessary to guide a family through a tough time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Sacramento Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. If someone you love has suffered a head or brain injury, please call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for friendly, free legal advice.
I am honored to be a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You’re welcome to see our verdicts or settlements here.
Photo Attribution: The picture at the top of this page was found first on Unsplash. The photo has been printed here with permission
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