Traumatic brain injury: Complicated and unpredictable

Each brain injury is unique and therefore presents its own set of challenges to people who experience them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that traumatic brain injuries lead to death for 138 people every day in the United States, including Santa Ana, California. Furthermore, the most recent statistics from 2010 show that there were 280,000 instances where people were admitted to a hospital after suffering a head trauma. The majority of these were the results of falls and accidents involving someone who was struck by a car.

Treatment challenges

The human brain controls all of the body's systems and acts as a storage center for memory, personality and mood. As such, treating a brain injury is one of the toughest challenges that medical professionals face. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke points out that the only treatment doctors can currently administer is that which will prevent further brain damage from occurring.

The reason for this stems from the fact that no two brain injuries are alike. Research has shown that if two people suffer the same kind of brain injury, their symptoms will be different from each other. Treatment focuses more on monitoring the patient's current conditions to make sure that oxygen and blood flow remain uninterrupted.

Long-term effects

While some brain injury symptoms may clear up relatively quickly, others might take longer or remain permanent according to The Brain Injury Association of America. These symptoms can include the following:

  • Changes in mood
  • Speech problems
  • Struggles with thought
  • Mental health problems such as anxiety or depression
  • Trouble remembering details or retaining thoughts
  • Comprehension issues

These effects can have a serious impact on people, interfering with their ability to work or enjoy a normal life. In these instances, doctors may recommend that people see speech therapists, mental health professionals, occupational therapists, physical therapists and other specialists. These professionals may be able to help people regain some of their former skills or adjust to this change in their lifestyle.

Risk for future problems

When people have a brain injury, they must not just deal with the immediate effects of that injury but also with the fact that brain injuries can contribute to other health issues later on. Researchers have connected brain injuries to increased risk for dementia, Parkinson's disease and a shorter life span for some people. People with multiple concussions may even develop permanent brain damage and become suicidal or unable to make rational decisions years later.

Gaging someone's risk for developing a further disease or mental condition is not easy. Other factors such as the person's overall health, age and the type and severity of brain injury can all play a part. This can make it difficult for Californians who have received a brain injury from a car accident or some other event caused by another's negligence to estimate what their needs might be. For this reason, it may be wise to seek out legal counsel.

Keywords: TBI, brain injury, accident

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