Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can cause severe, sometimes permanent, brain damage and have an impact on all areas of your life. These catastrophic injuries are often caused by an auto accident, but can arise from any accident involving head trauma. There are many treatment options for TBI. Depending on the cause of your brain injury, these costs may be covered by the insurance provider of the individual or company responsible for your accident.
Degrees of Severity and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild brain injuries often do not require treatment beyond initial emergency care. Moderate brain injuries involve losing consciousness anywhere from 20 minutes to 6 hours. A severe TBI will leave you unconscious for more than 6 hours. Moderate to severe TBI symptoms vary depending on the cause of the injury and which part of the brain is affected.
Symptoms may include:
- Loss of cognitive functions—memory loss, confusion, attention difficulties, etc.
- Difficulty with speech—issues with reading or writing, slow or fast speech patterns, problems understanding or speaking language.
- Sensory dysfunction—impaired sense of touch, smell, taste or temperature.
- Vision loss—blurred or weakened vision, light sensitivity, partial or complete blindness.
- Seizures—these may happen immediately after the trauma or in the days following.
- Hearing loss—heightened sound sensitivity, ringing ears, partial or complete deafness.
- Behavioral changes—aggression, irritability, depression, etc.
- Physical changes—partial or full paralysis, pain, incontinence, difficulty maintaining body temperature and many others.
3 Treatment Steps for Traumatic Brain Injuries
Your TBI treatment depends on the severity of your brain injury. If you’ve suffered mild trauma to your head or neck, your treatment may end with step one. The common treatments for moderate to severe TBI involve these steps:
- Emergency Care—It’s important to go to your closest emergency room immediately following a blow to the head, neck or spine. You’ll need to be monitored for worsening or persistent symptoms to prevent any further injury to your brain. Medical professionals can minimize damage caused by bleeding, inflammation or decreased oxygen supply to your brain.
- Medications and/or Surgery—Physicians and nurses may give you a diuretic to reduce pressure inside your brain or anti-seizure medications to stop seizures from causing more damage. If your brain is struggling to allow the right amount oxygen and nutrients to reach your brain cells, a coma-inducing drug may be administered to help the healing process. Additionally, surgery may be necessary to remove blood clots, repair skull fractures or provide room for swollen tissues and drain cerebral fluid.
- Rehabilitation—TBI can have a lasting impact on your ability to perform basic skills and activities. Rehabilitation may be required for you to relearn how to walk or talk. A team of specialists can help you recover either in an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility.
If you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic brain injury due to an accident, please call our injury lawyers in Seattle today at (206) 622-1100 to schedule your initial consultation. Buckley & Associates, Attorneys at Law, provide experienced legal services to clients in Seattle and Tacoma, Washington.