Traumatic brain injury (TBI) contributes to nearly 30% of all injury deaths in the United States. Moreover, the people who survive a TBI can face a lifetime of challenges in the form of disabilities. A TBI is most often caused by a sudden and violent force to the head, and can also be caused by a penetrating object into brain tissue. In both instances the normal function of the brain is disrupted, resulting in injury.
A TBI can also be called a concussion, head injury, or post-concussion syndrome. Much too often, hospitals or providers do not recognize concussions unless there is severe blow to the head.
Causes and Effects of TBI
Motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of TBI, accounting for nearly half of all TBIs that require hospitalization. Concussions can be caused by whip lash injuries, without any direct trauma to the head. The second most common cause of TBI is sports or physical activity, with assaults being the third leading cause. For men and women over the age of 65, falls can be the number one cause of TBI.
In the case of concussions, the symptoms of HA, short term memory loss, vertigo or dizziness are often only recognized after the patient has been sent home and then has many of these symptoms. It is vital to report these symptoms promptly to your doctor so they can document same and get you proper treatment for head injuries. These type symptoms can last from a few weeks to months and even years.
The effects of TBI can vary depending on the severity of the injury. Mild effects of TBI can result in: headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue or lethargy, a change in sleep patterns, behavioral or mood changes, and trouble with memory, concentration, attention or thinking. Each year, minor incidents of TBI happen to more than one million people in the United States, most often known as concussions.
Other effects resulting in TBI include: impaired thinking or memory, difficulty with mobility, vision or hearing loss, personality changes and depression. An extended period of these effects not only affect the victim, but can also impact family members as they adjust their lifestyle to provide support. Approximately 100,000 of the people that are hospitalized with a TBI will see a lasting disability.
Anyone who sustains a TBI should receive medical attention immediately. Not much can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma. During a hospitalization, the medical team will try to stabilize a TBI patient and will put all their effort into preventing further injury. They will make sure the patient receives proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body. The medical team will also ensure the patient maintains adequate blood flow and blood pressure.
An imaging test may be ordered to help determine the diagnosis and prognosis of a TBI patient. Skull and neck x-rays may also be performed to check for bone fractures or spinal instability. For moderate to severe TBIs, a computed tomography (CT) scan will be performed. Patients who endure a moderate to severe TBI will also receive rehabilitation including: physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/language therapy, physiatry (physical medicine), psychology/psychiatry and social support.
Not all TBIs can be prevented, but measures can be taken to reduce the risk of the injury. Cyclists who wear helmets are less likely to withstand TBI when involved in an accident. Wearing seat belts while driving or riding in a vehicle can also reduce the risk of TBI. For elderly individuals, knowledge about fall prevention strategies may prevent TBI. Much like any other condition, education about TBI can be the greatest tool in preventing trauma.
North Carolina Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys Can Help You
Have you suffered a TBI in an accident or another circumstance outside of your control? Get the just compensation you deserve for your suffering. The attorneys at Hardee & Hardee have successfully represented numerous victims of TBI in Pitt County and the surrounding areas. Our attorneys have the compassion, resources and experience to fight for your rights. Call Hardee & Hardee at 252-787-4651 for a free initial consultation. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure a successful outcome for your case. Don’t wait. Get in touch today.