The Devastating Effects of Brain Injury and Trauma

Today is the 2018 NFL Draft. A day where dreams are realized for many children who grew up wanting to be a professional football player. Something that may not have been considered in the pursuit of their goals is the extreme risk that being a professional athlete poses, especially in a high contact sport such as football. Football players can suffer twisted and torn ligaments, broken bones, concussions, and even in rare but incredibly severe cases, traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries come in many forms and types “Brain damage, or brain injury, affects brain cells and is often the result of a head injury, accident or trauma. Brain damage can affect a person’s thinking, understanding, language skills and memory There are two types of brain injury – traumatic brain injury and acquired brain injury. Both disrupt the brain’s normal functioning. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by an external force, such as a blow to the head, that causes the brain to move inside the skull or damages the skull. This in turn damages the brain. An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) occurs at the cellular level. It is most often associated with pressure on the brain, for example from a tumor. Or it could result from neurological disease, as in the case of a stroke… There is a kind of brain damage that results from genetics or birth trauma. It’s called congenital brain damage. It is not included, though, within the standard definition of brain damage or traumatic brain injury.”

Traumatic brain injury is a very commonly seen case that many injury lawyers deal with on a regular basis. These types of injuries arise from many different types of accidents- slip and falls, auto accidents, sports injuries, violent attacks, work place injuries, and other common sources.  Most people do not realize how prevalent cases of TBI are or how truly overwhelming injuries of this nature can be. TBI is often missed during initial treatment and diagnosis due to the fact that simply trying to stabilize a person and save them is the most urgent objective at that time.  The death rate from traumatic brain injuries at one time in our history was very high. This was because there were no fancy machines to monitor the brain and surgery techniques were crude and rudimentary. Many people died due to pressure on the brain or because of impalement, bruising, and the disruption the injury caused to major functions of the brain such as breathing and heartbeat. Although the methods for diagnosis and treatment have advanced significantly, TBI can still have a significant and long-lasting impact.

A brain injury has the distinction of being traumatic can fall into one of two classification categories: mild and severe.

  • Mild injury is usually diagnosed if the loss of consciousness the presence of any confusion and disorientation last less than 30 minutes from the time of injury. In many cases MRI and CAT scans often show nothing abnormal, the individual will often have mild discomfort and minor problems for a few hours to a day or two afterwards. These include headache, slow reflexes, memory problems, lapses of logic, irritability, attention deficits, mild confusion, sudden mood swings, temporary changes in personality, and frustration.
  • Severe brain injury usually includes a loss of consciousness that is longer than 30 minutes and memory loss that remains for more than 24 hours. The symptoms of this level of brain injury can involve the higher level cognitive functions, trouble breathing, heart rate issues, inability to respond to stimuli, and complete loss of consciousness. Survivors of severe brain injury may have trouble controlling their arms or legs, they may suddenly have abnormal speech or language patterns, they may have a loss their ability to think logical, or they may experience sudden and drastic personality changes and emotional problems.

The effects of TBI can be profound. For many people with severe traumatic brain injury, long-term rehabilitation is often necessary as the devastating change in brain function can deal a deadly blow to family, job, social, and personal aspects of life.

If you or a loved one is suffering from the devastating and truly life-altering effects of a head injury that was caused by a concussion or other injury, or if you have recently been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, call us today! We are here to help you and to fight for your rights and to help you reclaim whatever your new normal is for you and your family. Call today for your free consultation.