Understanding the full impact of traumatic brain injury
Brain injuries are common results of accidents and due to their complexity, are difficult to treat and recover from.
The human brain is the most complex part of the body and therefore, it should come as no surprise to people in Houston that when the brain is injured, treatment is a challenge. The Brain Injury Association of America states that every brain injury is different and the impact of one is unpredictable.
What are the signs of a brain injury?
The signs that someone is suffering from a brain injury run a wide gamut. For example, people who hit their forehead during a traffic accident involving a tractor trailer, may experience one of more of the following symptoms:
- Change of personality
- The inability to pay attention or concentrate on things
- Struggles to solve problems
- Unable to express themselves vocally
- Emotional changes
People who are struck behind may have problems with their vision, visual perception, balance, and/or coordination. If they suffer damage in the brain stem, they may struggle with breathing, sleeping and/or experience problems with their heart rate. The severity or appearance of these symptoms may be influenced by the force of the blow, age or overall health.
Is brain trauma a common injury?
The number of people who suffer a brain injury each year appears to be growing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that brain injury is diagnosed in around 2.5 million visits made to American emergency room departments each year. While fewer people are dying from brain injury, hospitalizations have experienced an 11 percent increase and there has been a 70 percent increase of people coming to emergency rooms with brain trauma.
Falls are named as the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries at 40.5 percent. Following that are motor vehicle accidents at 14.3 percent and being struck by or against an object at 15.5 percent. This makes brain trauma a real risk for people who work on docks or freight ships, slip-and-fall on a cruise ship or are just out running errands.
How is brain injury treated?
Treatment for brain trauma is as complex as the injury is. For mild concussions, the only treatment doctors recommend is rest. People are prohibited from reading, watching complex movies or even using a computer so that their brain can relax and further damage can be averted.
For people with more serious damage, hospitalization often involves the monitoring of body systems, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Of particular concern is the amount of blood and oxygen that are flowing through the body. Inadequate oxygen can cause additional and permanent brain damage, leaving people unable to care for themselves. Other treatments focus on recovery such as speech, physical, occupational, social and psychological therapy.
Victims of negligence have the right to seek compensation from all parties at fault for their injury. This compensation can include medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future care or therapy that may be required. Talking with a Texas injury attorney may help victims gain an understanding of the civil process and what they may be able to claim.