Outcomes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most devastating injuries that someone can sustain. Unlike other parts of the body, the neurons in the central nervous system often do not regenerate once they are damaged. This can lead to lifelong complications that impact not only the person sustaining the injury but also his or her family and friends as well. Some of the statistics regarding traumatic brain injuries that were published by the Brain Trauma Foundation include:
- Brain trauma is the second most common disability in the United States.
- This disability impacts over 13 million people across the country.
- According to their numbers, about 2.5 million people suffer some form of TBI every year.
- Of all deaths due to injuries, a TBI is listed as a contributing part in a third of them.
These numbers show that not only are TBIs common, they can also be deadly. For those who survive their injuries, they might end up with serious complications that could last for the rest of their life. For this reason, understanding the outcomes of TBIs is of great importance. This was the goal of a study that was published recently.
The Study: Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury Two Years Later
A team of medical researchers tracked nearly 200 individuals who had suffered a TBI. Some of the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries include:
- Motor vehicle collisions, including auto accidents.
- Slip and fall injuries such as those on an icy road or a wet floor.
- Physical assault.
- Sports injuries.
The group underwent intense physical therapy and rehab through programs at a local hospital. After rehab, they were tracked for about two years. Most of the people in this study group had suffered a TBI that was categorized as severe, meaning that they had suffered a severe loss of functional abilities in more than one area. The researchers documented the recovery process in numerous areas such as:
- Physical mobility
- Medical complications
- Mental status such as cognition
- Activities of daily living
- Recreational ability
- The ability to return to work or school
- Communication abilities
- Judgment and behavior
Some of the pertinent results of this study, published in Brain Injury, include:
- The majority of the individuals were eventually able to care for themselves in most areas of daily living.
- About a third of the individuals still required assistance for transport.
- About half of the individuals who previously held a job were unable to return to work.
- Two-thirds of the individuals reported still having some residual cognitive, emotional, and behavioral issues.
These numbers show that traumatic brain injuries can still have residual effects two years after the initial accident.
Treating a Traumatic Brain Injury
The treatment of a TBI consists of both emergency care after the accident (which can include emergency surgery, blood pressure medications, and supplemental oxygen) and long-term care. Some of the important pieces of long-term care include:
- Physical therapy to help regain motor function.
- Medical subspecialists who can help with the sensory issues.
- The management of chronic pain.
Ultimately, the outcome of a TBI is going to vary from case to case. Like other injuries, some TBIs are more serious than others. The faster an individual receives medical care, the better their prognosis will be.
Watch YouTube Video: Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury. In this educational video, Dr. Ronald Gefaller explains what happens during a traumatic brain injury.
Contacting a Brain Injury Lawyer
If someone you care about has suffered a head or brain injury, this could lead to a lot of questions. Loved ones often wonder how the accident happened in the first place, if anything could have been done to avoid it, and what the future is going to hold. This uncertainty can create a great deal of stress, leaving loved ones searching for answers. When this happens, meeting with a brain injury lawyer in the Bay Area is a great first step. Some of the ways that an injury attorney can help include:
- Reviewing the records from the accident to make sure that nothing has been missed.
- Ensuring that the mechanism of the accident listed in the report is correct.
- Helping families pursue damages that are related to head injury, its sequelae, and all of its complications.
- Moving a case to trial when needed.
Families should never feel like they need to face these challenges alone. Enlisting the help of a Bay Area brain injury lawyer can help families recover. Do not hesitate to ask for help during a difficult time. Someone is always available to lend a helping hand.
San Francisco Brain Injury Attorneys
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