Traumatic Brain Injuries: Unpredictable and Long-lasting
Brain injuries affect each person differently and this can make them difficult to treat and to predict long-term outcomes for.
A San Francisco man’s life hangs on a thread as he lies in a hospital with a severe brain injury and a fractured skull. NBC Bay Area news stated the victim was hit by an alleged drunk motorcyclist as he was disembarking from a cable car.
The Brain Trauma Foundation reports the leading cause of disability and death in Americans between the age of 1 and 44 is traumatic brain injury. Furthermore, disability caused by a TBI affects 5.3 million people. A TBI can result from a car accident, a slip-and-fall, participation in sports, an assault, or a medical error made during the birth process.
No two alike
The brain is a massive complex system of neurons, which act as communication channels. The channels carry messages to different parts of the brain that control different functions such as memory, thought, emotion, speech, breathing, heart rate, vision, touch, movement, hearing, metabolism, personality, smell and behavior. Researchers and scientists have yet to discover all of the secrets of the brain but one thing they do know is that every brain injury is unique.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, the damage a brain injury causes can be influenced by other factors like a person’s age, overall health, the amount of force that caused the injury and where the injury occurred in the brain. Some people are even more susceptible to brain injury than others. For example, one person could suffer a head injury from bumping into something while another person would be just fine.
Difficult to treat
The fact that each brain injury is unique makes it one of the most difficult injuries to treat. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke points out that there is no known treatment to reverse the effects of a brain injury. The only option doctors have is to stabilize patients and monitor their condition to prevent further damage from occurring. This may require surgery in some cases if the brain injury involves bleeding on the surface of the brain or an open wound.
Once the patient is considered stabilized, then doctors may set up treatment that addresses their specific symptoms which could include speech therapy, psychiatric care (if the person’s mental or emotional state has been affected), physical therapy, social support and occupational therapy.
Health conditions associated with TBI
While some symptoms may clear up over time, some remain permanent. Unfortunately, medical professionals do not have the ability to predict whether a person will make a full recovery. These conditions may include depression, mobility issues, memory, thinking processes and speech. Research has also shown that brain injuries can affect a person years later. When people suffer a TBI, their risk of developing a form of dementia or suffering a stroke rises.
This can make it difficult for people in San Francisco to determine how much compensation they need for their immediate and long-term care. An experienced attorney may be able to help.
Keywords: accident, injury, brain, TBI