Subtle and Not So Subtle Consequences of A Traumatic Brain Injury
1.7 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) every year, and 52,000 of these people die from their injuries. Yet, somewhat surprisingly, TBIs can be quite subtle, and the consequences of brain injuries can be diverse.
In the immediate wake of a motor vehicle accident, fall, violent attack or sports injury, the brain injured individual may experience obvious symptoms, such as swelling in the brain, blacking out, nausea, convulsions, memory loss or loss of speech. The nature and severity of the brain injury depends on numerous factors, including:
- The quality of medical care and therapy given.
- The angle of the blow to the head and the type of force imparted (e.g. rotational, head-on, etc.).
- Whether the injury was “open” or “closed.” Did the injury open the skull or not?
- Whether the victim was on any medications, such as blood thinners or beta blockers.
- Whether the victim had been previously brain injured.
Traumatic Brain Injury victims can often recover function, particularly when treated effectively and early after the event that caused the injury. Several new drugs and therapies designed for immediate traumatic brain injury treatment and triage border on the miraculous. However, recovery can be eccentric and unpredictable. Moreover, extensive and diverse imaging may be needed to get a true, clear picture of what’s going on inside the brain. An MRI by itself, for instance, may miss signs of a brain injury that a CT scan could detect.
Here is another subtlety. In 2014, scientists discovered that brain’s glucose metabolism changes for approximately seven days after a traumatic struck-by event. During that sensitive seven day period, the victim may be at risk for what’s called “second impact syndrome.” Another bump on the head, even a subtle one, can add insult to injury and set off a cascade of serious problems, such as edema and bleeding in the brain.
We will discuss some of the longer-term consequences of TBI in our next blog post. If you or someone you love needs help understanding your legal options after a fall, motor vehicle accident, sports injury or assault, our Colorado traumatic brain injury attorneys are standing by to talk to you about your case. Contact the Law Office of Steve Roberts, LLC, at 720-515-7058.