Traumatic Brain Injury: Symptoms and Treatment
Traumatic brain injury is generally caused by a severe blow to the head. Some of the most common causes include personal injuries, such as car accidents, trucking accidents, physical violence, and falls.
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury to the head, they may have also experienced a brain injury. Some symptoms of brain injury don’t show up immediately. In this blog, we’ll go over signs and symptoms of traumatic injury, which may appear days or even weeks after an accident. Then we’ll talk about treatment options.
Once you receive proper medical treatment, consult a personal injury lawyer to help you determine your rights in paying for your treatment and for your life-changing injuries. You’ll want to act fast to file a personal injury claim before the statute of limitations expires. While the deadline for filing a lawsuit depends upon the specific facts of the case, in Arizona, you typically have two years from the date of your injury — or in some cases, the date you discover the injury — to file a personal injury lawsuit. It is very important to understand, though, that if the injury was caused by someone working for the state, city, county, or town, you only have six months to file what is called a Notice of Claim. If you do not properly file the Notice of Claim within 6 months, any future lawsuit can be thrown out. An attorney should be consulted to determine the specific time period within which one must file their lawsuit.
Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury
Three types of brain injury exist: mild, moderate, and severe. A mild brain injury is generally caused by a weaker blow to the head that may or may not cause the individual to lose consciousness for a few seconds. Mild brain injuries may not require treatment, but rather may only need time for the victim to recover. This does not mean, though, that the injury is not significant.
A moderate brain injury is characterized by a loss of consciousness for 20 minutes to about 6 hours. Moderate brain injuries can result in permanent brain function loss. This can have devastating effects on your life, your relationships, and your ability to work. It can also cause mood and personality changes.
A severe brain injury is caused by a severe blow to the head that causes the patient to lose consciousness for more than 6 hours (this time frame is not required to be deemed a severe brain injury, but rather is just one of many ways to classify the injury). This type of brain injury is most likely to result in permanent brain damage.
A brain injury may not be immediately apparent. They generally have similar symptoms, but the symptoms vary in terms of severity. Go to the doctor immediately if you or a loved one experiences any of the following symptoms:
Agitation, combativeness, or other unusual behavior
Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
Coma and other disorders of consciousness
Convulsions or seizures
Difficulty awakening from sleep
Headache that won’t go away or worsens
Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
Loss of consciousness lasting a few minutes to hours
Numbness or tingling of arms or legs
Repeated nausea or vomiting
You may notice other symptoms in addition to these, as well.
Treatments for Traumatic Brain Injury
You should always see a doctor after a traumatic blow to the head that causes any of the above symptoms. Your doctor will give you the appropriate treatment to help you recover. Remember, brain injuries often impair cognitive function, so recovery can be slow. Be patient with your recovery.
Treatments for Mild Brain Injury
Generally, victims of mild traumatic brain injuries only require rest and over-the-counter pain medication to make a full recovery. However, you should monitor a person with a mild brain injury closely to ensure no new symptoms develop or old ones worsen.
Treatments for Moderate and Severe Brain Injury
If the person has received a strong blow to the head, he or she may require immediate emergency care. Doctors ensure the patient has an adequate supply of blood and oxygen to the brain, maintain the patient’s blood pressure, and prevent neck and head injury.
When the patient is stabilized, a doctor may prescribe medications to prevent a worsening of symptoms. Anti-diuretics reduce pressure in the brain and anti-seizure drugs lower the risk of seizures after brain trauma.
Some traumatic brain injuries require surgery. Surgeons may remove clotted blood within the brain that puts pressure on brain tissue. They may also repair skull fractures or remove pieces of skull from the brain. In rare cases, surgeons may need to remove a piece of skull to allow swollen tissues to expand without putting too much pressure on the brain.
After a Traumatic Brain Injury
When you or a loved one falls victim to a traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation is key to recovering brain function and body function. In many cases, rehabilitation requires time and effort that results in a loss of income and high medical bills. If you are unable to work while you heal from your injury, you could miss out on days, weeks, or months of wages and fall further and further behind on your bills.
After you or a loved one experiences a brain injury, call a personal injury lawyer to help you arrange payment for these expenses. You may have a case to receive damages from the party that is liable for your injury.
If you are looking for a personal injury attorney in the Phoenix, Arizona, area, contact our trusted legal team at Snyder & Wenner, P.C. today. We have many years of experience litigating brain injury cases and will give your case the attention it deserves.