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Articles Tagged with Traumatic Brain Injury

Just as every catastrophic injury is unique and every victim is unique, so are the teams of medical and legal experts needed to handle the catastrophic injury victim’s care and their personal injury claim.

catastrophic injury treatmentExperts Utilized in Catastrophic Injury Cases — Severe Burn Injuries

ringing in ears after car accident

Whiplash Tinnitus

Tinnitus is the medical word to describe ringing or buzzing noises in the ear.  Medically speaking tinnitus is a diagnosis but is not a disease.  It is a condition that is associated with another injury, trauma or disorder.  While tinnitus may feel like it just occurred out of the blue one day but it is a sign that something is wrong somewhere else.  The initial event of causation may have been days or weeks earlier.

SPECT (Single-photon emission tomography) imaging is emerging as a necessary tool in the evaluation and treatment of patients with TBI (traumatic brain injury) based on results of a recent study.  One of the reasons is the imaging provides greater ability to detect lesions than MRI and CT imaging, which remain valuable diagnostic tools to identify acute damage to the structures of the brain.

The difference with SPECT is that it can show dynamic information and show functional deficits…deficits that standard imaging such as MRI and CT do not reveal.  Given the difficulties of obtaining a definitive TBI diagnosis, especially in mild cases, SPECT can offer valuable information in conjunction with neuropsychological testing.

The wet and cold weather of winter brings with it slippery walking surfaces and fall hazards.  Thcastere are many types of injuries common to a fall – some are relatively minor but some can be life-threatening or even fatal, especially to an older individual.

For those 65 and older, falls are the most frequent case of nonfatal as well as fatal injuries, and most fractures suffered by older adults are caused by falls.  Falls are also the most common cause of head injuries.  Seniors who have suffered a previous fall may become fearful of activity and lead a more sedentary lifestyle.  The potential for falls as we age carries with it far-ranging consequences.

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A JAMA study published in January concluded that people that have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBI) were more likely to experience a premature death, which is defined as dying before 56 years of age.

The researchers followed everyone born in 1954 and later in Sweden that had been treated medically (outpatient or inpatient) for TBI between the years of 1969 and 2009.  The total number of people followed under these criteria was 218,300.  The researchers looked at death rates at least six months after the brain injury and were compared with the general population.  The study also considered the death rates of siblings of people within the study.

Traumatic Brain Injury and Melatonin

It’s been well documented in medical journals that those who suffer brain injury often complain of sleep disturbances. True, loss of sleep after a traumatic brain injury may be due to the associated pain or anxiety following such incidents. However, medical studies clearly indicate that sleep loss after a traumatic brain injury is often due to the brain’s inability to properly produce melatonin after severe trauma.

There are two main types of Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI:

When a foreign object (such as a bullet) pierces the brain it can cause damage to specific areas of the brain. This type of TBI is known as a Penetrating Injury. Penetrating injuries result in localized damage along the path that the foreign object traveled through the brain. Damage to different areas of the brain will result in different symptomatology.

Oftimes, we represent children who have been in an accident and suffer traumatic brain injuries (Tbi injuries).

These injuries are often overshadowed initially by other more visible injuries such as fractures, serious abrasions or internal organ injuries.

Head_CT_scan.jpgIn some cases, patients sustaining trauma to the head and neck area will have both closed head injuries and maxillofacial trauma. Of the two, closed head injuries are more severe and need to be managed before the maxillofacial trauma is treated. Patients with closed head injuries can have intracerebral hematomas, subdural hematomas or epidural hematomas. Each of these blood clots can increase in size and can cause excess pressure on the brain. This can lead to semiconscious states or coma and, in severe cases, they can cause herniation of brain tissue through the foramen magnum at the base of the brain. Such a condition is almost uniformly fatal because the patient is unable to breathe on their own and have instability of pulse and blood pressure.

The recommendation of most physicians who suspect an intracranial injury when a maxillofacial injury is noted gives the patient a CT scan of the head and face. This CT scan will determine the presence of bleeding, swelling and blood clots in the brain and will demonstrate any skull fractures or facial fractures. When the brain is stabilized through surgery or other modality, then the maxillofacial fractures, contusions, and lacerations can be managed secondarily.

Motor vehicle rollover accidents are accidents in which the motor vehicle ends up on its side or on its back. In other words, there is no contact between the wheels of the vehicle and the ground. Unfortunately, 2.7 percent of occupants of a motor vehicle were killed in a rollover compared to 0.2 percent of occupants in non-rollover accidents. A total of 33 percent of all fatalities that are related to motor vehicle collisions occurred in rollover accidents as opposed to those accidents where the vehicle does not roll over.

Rollover rates seem to be higher in light trucks and SUVs. Rollovers are less common for the average passenger vehicle and/or minivan. More than any other demographic, male young drivers were the cause of the majority of these type of accidents. Vehicles that roll also tended to be older vehicles carrying multiple occupants. Sadly, many of the rollover accidents were noted to often contain unbelted passengers. Besides the age, sex and type of vehicle demographic, high speed rates at the time of the incident was another component contributing to these accidents.

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