Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic-Brain-Injuries-full-screen-bkgrndAccording to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a Traumatic Brain Injury is a form of acquired brain injury occurring when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain. Cite/ Link: www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi/htm Brain injury can occur whether the person whose head has been struck remains conscious or not. A TBI can be caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Not all such events cause a TBI. Most, in fact, do not. As we discover more about the brain, however, we have consistently learned that the threshold for causing a serious brain injury is less than previously believed.

Causes of Brain Injuries:

  • FALLS: 40% of all TBI’s in the united States occurred as a result of falls. More than half of TBI’s among children 0 to 14 were caused by falls and more than two thirds of TBI’s in adults aged 65 and older are caused by falls. Cite: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet (internet). CDC.gov. Atlanta (GA): CDC; (updated 2015 Jan 12). Available from: www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/get_the_facts.html
  • UNINTENTIONAL BLUNT TRAUMA: Being hit by an object is the second leading cause of TBI’s in America. About one quarter of all TBI’s in children were caused by blunt trauma. Id.
  • MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISIONS: Among all age groups, car crashes are the third leading cause of TBI’s, and the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths (26%). Id.

Symptoms of Brain Injuries:

Symptoms of more mild TBI’s include:

  • Headache;
  • Confusion;
  • Lightheadedness;
  • Dizziness;
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes;
  • Ringing in the ears;
  • Bad taste in the mouth;
  • Fatigue or lethargy;
  • A change in sleep patterns;
  • Behavioral or mood changes
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention or thinking.

Symptoms of a more serious brain injury can include the above but also:

  • Headache that gets worse or does not go away;
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea;
  • Convulsions or seizures;
  • Inability to awaken from sleep;
  • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Weakness or numbness in the extremities;
  • Loss of coordination;
  • Increased confusion, relentlessness or agitation

Immediate Medical Care:

Whether the symptoms are those that initially indicate a mild or a serious brain injury, the injured person should seek out medical treatment immediately.

In rare cases, a dangerous blood clot may form on the brain in a person with a concussion and this isa very serious condition that can result in death if not properly treated. The signs of having a “Brain bleed” include:

  • Headache that is either not going away or getting worse
  • Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination
  • Repeated vomiting or nausea
  • Slurred speech

If any of these signs are present it is prudent to proceed immediately to the emergency room.

Additional concerning symptoms that should result in the immediate obtaining of emergency medical care include:

  • Extreme drowsiness or even a brief loss of consciousness
  • Having one pupil that is larger than the other
  • Inability to recognize people or places
  • Confusion / agitation that is on going or getting worse
  • Any type of seizure or convulsion

Danger Signs In Children:

Children should be taken to the emergency room if they have suffered a blow or jolt to the head and they have any of the signs discussed above, but, also, because they have limitations on their ability to self-report symptoms, greater concern should be shown if they are crying continuously and not able to be consoled or they show other signs of feeling badly such as not wanting to ear / nurse.

Data for this section of the site was obtained from the CDC : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet (internet). CDC.gov. Atlanta (GA): CDC; (updated 2015 Jan 12). Available from: www.cdc.gov/traumatic brain injury/get the facts.html

Types of Care and Recovery:

Most concussions resolve well and fairly quickly with few on-going symptoms.   If symptoms do not abate, however, then medical intervention is important.

Medical professionals agree on some general guidelines for patients suffering from symptoms as discussed above and concerned about whether they have incurred a TBI:

  • Get plenty of sleep and rest;
  • Avoid physically demanding activities;
  • Avoid activities that could result in more jolting or impacts with the head (I.e. don’t go on a roller coaster);
  • Have discussions with your health care professional about what things you should or shouldn’t be doing – driving / working certain jobs / riding a bike, etc.
  • Do not take medication / drugs / alcohol if you suspect a brain injury;
  • Ask for help from those around you and implement systems to keep track of your abilities – write things down – have family members check your work , important decisions.

FOR CHILDREN:

  • All of the above but also keeping track of the types of behaviors they are showing and the type of play they are participating in – try to avoid sports / bike riding / anything that could result in a further holt or blow to the head until the symptoms have cleared and you’ve talked with the child’s doctor for medical clearance. 

Data for this section of the site was obtained from the CDC : Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Fact Sheet (internet). CDC.gov. Atlanta (GA): CDC; (updated 2015 Jan 12). Available from:www.cdc.gov/traumatic brain injury/get the facts.html

Accommodations:

Getting back into life after a TBI can be difficult and the patient should consider asking for accommodations that will help them with this segue. Returning to work or school may need to be accompanied by more rest breaks, shorter work days, more time to complete certain tasks, help from others to both insure that tasks are done properly and to allow for more time to focus and concentrate with less pressure.   If you are concerned about obtaining accommodations, you should discuss this with your doctor. Schools and employers are generally respectful or what a physician indicates is needed in order for the patient to re-integrate into the education or profession.

In sports, the threshold is going to be higher for returning a student athlete to the field because of the danger of underestimating the degree of injury in the short time frame provided during a game and the danger of a subsequent injurious event.   All 50 states now have laws implementing standards surround returning to play that schools and leagues must follow in order to keep children safe while participating in sports.

Conclusion:

Wiener & Lambka, PS takes special pride in representing those persons who are least able to do so for themselves and we take great care with our cases involving traumatic brain injury and any case involving an injury to a child.

“I was satisfied by the timely manner with which my case was handled. I would definitely recommend Wiener & Lambka to a friend in the future.” - D. Yusuf
“Wiener & Lambka helped me through the process, always discussing all of the available options. In particular, I was happy about the ease with which I was able to access my attorneys.”- B. Froton
“Wiener and Lambka did a good job of keeping me up to date on my case, and I’d definitely suggest their services to someone looking for an attorney.” - L. Lafond
“You minimized my stress levels on a process foreign and scary to me. Very professional, caring, and patient with me.” - A. Maas
"It was a stress free experience. I particularly enjoyed when, on my initial call, they sent someone out to my house to speak with me in person. I would certainly use or recommend Wiener & Lambka in the future." - M. Randall
“Wiener & Lambka took care of the leg work for me and even managed to get a larger settlement than expected.” - J. Hanson
“The Staff at Wiener and Lambka are friendly and understand customer needs. They reduced their fee on my case and didn’t even take any on my son’s.” - M. Ngo
“The service and the staff were great. I was happy with everything, and would refer Wiener and Lambka to someone else in the future.” - I. Aleman
“A job well done! The staff at Wiener and Lambka made a point of explaining everything to me and if necessary I’d work with them again in a heartbeat.” - O. Yusuf
“Everyone was great. The staff at Wiener and Lambka make a good thing out of a bad situation, and for that, I am very thankful.” - D. Grami
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