Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are among the most challenging physical conditions that victims and their families face. While many assume the injury is neurological, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that complications due to the injuries cause an average of nearly 57,000 people deaths each year (about 155 per day) in the United States.
How TBI occurs
The brain is suspended in cerebrospinal fluid and encased by the skull. When the victim suffers a blow to the head or is violently jerked in a whiplash fashion, the brain’s soft tissue can contact the cranium, causing inflammation, bruising, or bleeding. Left untreated, the brain can expand and increase the pressure within the skull cavity, causing further damage. Moreover, treating the injuries is no guarantee for a full recovery.
Recognizing the symptoms
Family members, friends and others present should look for the signs of injury in the immediate aftermath and monitor the victim’s health over time:
- Severe injuries will result in convulsions, seizures, agitation, slurred speech, loss of coordination, sensory deficiencies, or loss of consciousness.
- Milder cases can still include persistent headaches, vomiting and nausea, difficulty concentrating, memory loss, dizziness, confusion. There may also be mood swings, disruption in sleep patterns or behavioral changes.
Seek treatment immediately
It is critical for injury victims to get treatment from medical professionals who can better diagnose the issues and ideally treat the patient to reduce or eliminate the symptoms. While many high-profile cases involve college and professional athletes who play contact sports, life-changing TBI injuries can happen to kids on the playground, military personnel, slip and fall victims, those in a motor vehicle accident, and others. The long-term consequences include the inability of the injured to work and function normally. They may also incur medical bills for the initial injuries but also ongoing therapy or treatment.
Considering the cost and long-term damage caused by the incident, victims or their families may wish to consult a knowledgeable personal injury attorney if the injury was likely due to someone else’s negligence.