Brain Injury Treatment
Trauma to the brain can occur after a car accident when the brain is affected by the impact of a violent physical force, such as striking against the window or steering wheel. If you were in a car accident and suffered injuries, learn more about your options for brain injury treatment after an auto accident.
Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious injury caused to the brain as the result of a jolt or blow to the head. According to the Mayfield Clinic, there are several types of TBI that can occur after an auto accident, including the following:
- Concussion (mild injury causing a brief loss of consciousness)
- Contusion (bruising to the brain)
- Diffuse axonal injury (shearing and stretching of the nerve cells when the brain moves back and forth inside the skull quickly)
- Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding around the brain)
- Hematoma (a blood clot that forms after blood vessel ruptures)
Oftentimes, after a severe auto accident, a victim will suffer more than one of these TBIs, which all may have a different degree of seriousness. Additionally, as well as having a primary brain injury, some victims develop secondary brain injuries, which occur as the body’s inflammatory response to the primary injury causes additional medical problems.
Symptoms of TBI
Depending on the type of TBI, a victim of an auto accident may suffer from the following symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Confusion or disorientation
- Cognitive difficulties
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Inappropriate emotional responses
- Dilated pupils
- Visual problems
- Speech difficulties
Any physical, emotional, or mental changes that occur after an auto accident should be promptly evaluated by a medical professional.
Treatments for Brain Injuries
There are several different types of brain injury treatments, and most depend on the type of injury suffered by the victim.
Rest and Medication
Most often, victims with TBI simply need to rest and take medication for their headaches. In many cases, a victim has simply suffered a concussion, which can take weeks or months to heal completely. Some of the suggestions include rest, over the counter painkillers, and not straining the brain with difficult thinking such as reading, working, or even watching television. While this may seem frustrating to those who have suffered a brain injury, rest is vital to the recovery process.
Hospitalizations and Surgery
However, if a more serious or severe TBI exists, it may require intensive care in the hospital to monitor any signs of bleeding or swelling in the brain. If any bleeding or swelling occurs, a doctor may determine if it is an emergency and whether it requires surgery. However, there are other cases where a victim may be hospitalized and monitored by a neuroscience intensive care unit of a hospital.
If surgery is needed, a surgeon may be able to perform a craniotomy to repair any skull fractures, bleeding vessels, or blood clots in the brain. Other times, surgery is necessary to remove a section of bone so that the brain can expand or swell without danger.
Every hospitalization and every surgery will differ and be entirely dependent upon the type and severity of brain injury suffered.
Oftentimes, the main area to monitor is the cerebral blood flow and amount of oxygen the brain is receiving. Some ways to monitor these levels are through intracranial pressure monitoring, which involves a catheter in the skull or a brain oxygen monitor, which is also placed through a catheter in the skull. Some victims of TBI may require a ventilator to help them breathe or even a feeding tube to help them with nutritional needs. Hospitals will also monitor TBI patients for any seizure activity through an electroencephalogram (EEG). Monitoring may occur with or without surgeries depending on the treatment plan developed by the victim’s physician.
In many cases, those who suffer brain injuries will need some sort of rehabilitative therapy. These types of therapy can include the following:
- Physical Therapy to regain strength and coordination
- Occupational Therapy to help a patient learn to perform daily tasks again such as eating, cooking, bathing, or getting dressed
- Speech Therapy to relearn how to form words and communication skills, and in some cases swallowing
- Physiological therapy to help a patient cope emotionally with their new medical condition and limitations
- Vocational Therapy to help a patient attempt to either return to work or find a new type of employment more conducive to their current medical condition
- Cognitive Therapy to assist a patient in their attention, learning, judgment, planning, perception, and memory skills
TBIs can be serious and life-long injuries. There are clinical trials that study new treatments for drugs, therapies, and other procedures to attempt to improve the condition of any victim that suffers from a TBI. It is important to note that not all head injuries are the same, and each person will recover at different rates and with differing levels of success. It may be difficult at the early stages of a TBI to determine how the victim will recover. Some recoveries may take weeks, months, or even years.
Contact a Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you love is seeking brain injury treatment after an auto accident, this may be an emotional and challenging time for you. The Florida brain injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Wolf & Pravato can help you determine if you have the right to receive compensation for your brain injury due to someone else’s negligence and can help you with your next steps. Call us at (954) 633-8270.
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