A staggering two million brain injuries are reported in the United States each year, and that number is only going to grow larger because traumatic brain injury (TBI) has now been named the signature wound of the war in Iraq.
Brain injuries are very difficult to treat and to diagnose because the symptoms of traumatic brain injuries often mimic those of other medical problems. Many times, people may think they’ve only suffered a mild concussion, but in actuality, they may have suffered a very serious brain injury with long-term effects.
For these reasons, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately after you sustain any type of head injury, regardless of how serious it appears to you. Only after an involved battery of diagnostic tests can doctors adequately diagnose TBI’s and decide which course of treatment, if any, may help treat the injury.
According the National Institutes of Health, traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. TBI can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. Symptoms of TBI vary and are classified as mild, moderate, or severe depending on the extent of the brain’s damage.
Some of the most common symptoms of TBI (from mild to severe) include:
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood changes
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
- Attention problems
- Headache that gets worse and never goes away
- Dilation of one or both pupils
- Slurred speech
- Weak/numb extremities
- Loss of coordination
- Persistent confusion, restlessness, agitation
Questions About Brain Injuries
Little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by a brain injury, so medical professionals will try to stabilize a TBI victim to prevent further injury. The most important concerns include:
- Making sure oxygen is properly supplied to the brain and rest of the body
- Maintaining good blood flow
- Controlling blood pressure
Approximately 50 percent of severely head-injured patients will need surgery to remove or repair ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue. Sometimes the effects of brain injury can be catastrophic. More serious head injuries can result in:
- Coma, a state in which a person is totally unconscious, unresponsive and unarousable.
- Vegetative state, where a person is unconscious and unaware of his surroundings but continues to have a sleep-wake cycle and periods of alertness.
- Persistent vegetative state, in which a person stays in a vegetative state for more than a month.
Brain injuries can be caused by many personal injury events including:
- Falls from heights
- Sports injuries
In certain cases, victims of TBI may be entitled to recover compensation for current and future medical costs, loss of current and future earnings, pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Also, families of victims may receive compensation if they must change their lifestyle to care for their injured loved one.
For more information, please visit our Brain Injury Questions page.
If you or a loved one has suffered or died from a traumatic brain injury, please contact our West Virginia head injury lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation. We represent brain injury victims throughout West Virginia and Southern Ohio including the communities of Belpre, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Athens, Morgantown, Charleston, and Huntington.