The Causes And Consequences Of Traumatic Brain Injury

In addition to being a vital organ, the brain contains so much of who we are as people – our skills, memories, talents and personalities. It is arguably the organ that makes us individual, for no two brains are ever exactly like. It is a powerful and amazing thing, but also incredibly fragile, and just as susceptible to damage as the rest of the body. While cuts may heal and bones may mend, the brain does not so easily recover from trauma.

The Causes

Brain injury is a particularly serious kind of catastrophic injury. Each year, approximately 1.5 million people are affected by a traumatic brain injury, with many suffering life-long disabilities or dying as a result. Though the causes of TBI are extremely diverse, the most common include:

  • Open head injuries (bullet wounds)
  • Closed head injuries (automobile accidents)
  • Diffuse Axonal injuries (sudden deceleration of the head)
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Surgical procedures
  • Infections
  • Strokes

Depending on the circumstances, TBI may occur in addition to damage to the rest of the body.

The Consequences

Your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and you have a thousand questions. What will happen to them? Will they be okay?

As no two brains are the same, there are no tried-and-true patterns for determining the extent of a brain injury immediately after its occurrence. Doctors use a variety of metrics to determine the ultimate extent of brain damage:

  • Coma severity
  • Coma length
  • Size of hemorrhages
  • Severity of injuries sustained during the initial accident

The two most common methods of assessing brain damage are computed topography (CT, or “cat”) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Both have different advantages and let physicians determine different conclusions about the state of a patient’s brain.

TBI is classified in one of two ways: mild or severe. Symptoms of mild brain injuries include the loss of consciousness for up to 6 hours, sensory difficulties, speech problems, and confusion. Severe brain injuries include the loss of consciousness for greater than 6 hours, slurred speech, partial or total loss of vision, sleep disorders and appetite changes.

There is no way to exactly determine the injuries a brain has sustained, but the survival and recovery rate of TBI has improved significantly in the past two decades.

The Solutions

Suffering from TBI, or seeing a loved one suffer from it, can feel overwhelming. If you or someone you know sustained a traumatic brain injury, the first and foremost priority should be obtaining medical attention. In any instance where a traumatic brain injury may have occurred, even if you think it might be mild, the first step should always be to call 911.

Next, ask yourself – what caused this terrible injury? If you feel your loved one sustained a serious brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, you should contact an experienced Sarasota injury attorney to discuss the potential for collecting compensation for your family’s financial burdens and hardships. Our Sarasota injury lawyer can help your loved one get the resources for necessary medical treatment, rehabilitation and life-long care.

Categories: Catastrophic Injuries