6 Things You Need to Know About Traumatic Brain Injury
If you or someone you know has been in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury, call Friedman Legal Solutions at 1-888-411-1677 for a free consultation today.
Corey B. Friedman, Esq.
West Palm Beach, Florida
While all traumatic brain injuries are not equal, all traumatic brain injuries are seriously concerning and should be evaluated and well-documented. Whether someone experiences a concussion or significant brain bleed, anytime a closed head injury occurs to the brain there is a risk of long-lasting (if not permanent) and devastating consequences.
As such, it is important that you choose an attorney who understands and can detect symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- All Traumatic Brain Injuries are Serious.
Let’s get this out in the open. All traumatic brain injuries are serious though there is a wide spectrum in how someone is ultimately affected. They are serious because different parts of the brain affect different parts of your person and if the injury exists inside of the head, it can sometimes be challenging to diagnose certain injuries.
Here is an example of the different parts of the brain and their functions:
Frontal Lobe: This part of the brain deals with cognition and memory. Injuries to this part of the brain can affect one’s concentration, judgment, consequence analysis, ability to problem sole, plan, as well as affect certain personality traits.
Parietal Lobe: This part of the brain deals with the integration of information from certain senses. Injuries to this area of the brain or affecting this area of the brain will interrupt spatial orientation, speech, visual perception and pain and touch sensations.
Occipital Lobe: This part of the brain deals with visual processing and is also contains the visual cortex.
Temporal Lobe: This part of the brain deals with high-level visual processing and contains the Hippocampus. This is where long-term memory is formed.
Cerebellum: This part of the brain deals with coordination, timing, fear and pleasure responses and also assists with attention and language.
Brain Stem: This is the brain’s warning system.
As you can see, every aspect of the brain is integral to a major and important bodily function. While the above list is not exhaustive, it is important that your attorney be able to understand any psychological and the results of any neuropsychological examination in order to assess the true extent of your injuries. Once this is done, your attorney can work with a vocational rehabilitation expert and economist to evaluate your damages.
Traumatic Brain Injuries and the Lasting Effects are Not Always Easy to Demonstrate Thus a Variety of Testing is Required for Proper Evaluation.
Because closed-head traumatic brain injury is (1) closed headed and (2) subject to microscopic abnormalities which have a macro causal effect on the brain and the person as a whole, it is oftentimes necessary to obtain more than one imaging study in addition to comprehensive testing.
CT: A Computed Tomography (CT) is an imaging study which is not as sensitive as an MRI.
MRI: Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field to scan the brain and is used in the acute care phase of brain injury.
SPECT Scan: Single-Photon Emission Computerized Tomography (SPECT) is a type of nuclear testing which uses a radioactive substance and a special camera to develop three dimensional pictures of the brain.
PET Scan: Positron Emission Tomography (PET) uses small amounts of radioactive materials and tried to identify body changes at a cellulite level.
Neuropsychological Assessment: This assessment uses a variety of testing batteries to analyze each segment of the brain.
What does Midline Shift, Diffuse Axonal Injury, Contusion, Coup Contrecoup, Hypoxic-ischaemic, and Anoxia Mean?
Midline Shift: a shift of the brain past its center line usually observable from a CT scan.
Diffuse Axonal Injury: An injury that occurs because the unmoving brain lags behind the movement of the skull thus causing brain structures to tear.
Contusion: A bruise or bleeding on the brain which may require surgery to be removed.
Coup Contrecoup: Injuries located at two opposite sides of the brain which occur because of the brain moving back and forth inside of the skull.
Hypoxic-ischaemic: This is a type of brain injury that occurs when there is a lack of blood flow to the brain because of a critical reduction in blood flow or blood pressure.
- What’s the difference between Mild, Moderate and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury?
The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to differentiate between types of brain injuries. The scale uses an evaluation of Eye, Verbal and Motor Responses and a score between 3 and 15 is used. A score of 3 is the worst and a score of 15 is the best.
Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (Score of 13-15) usually occurs when there is a brief loss of conscious (or no loss of consciousness at all but the person appears dazed or confused). As such, there has been a change in the mental status of the individual which indicates that brain functioning has been impacted in some way.
Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury (Score of 9-12) usually occurs when there is a non-penetrating blow to the head or shaking of the head (remember: the brain is a gelatinous substance that rattles around inside the hard skull). It is said that a moderate traumatic brain injury occurs when there is a loss of consciousness from a few minutes to several hours, confusion that lasts from days to weeks, and physical, cognitive and/or behavioral changes that last for months or a permanent in nature.
Severe Brain Injury occurs often when there are crushing blows and penetrating wounds to the head. In this instance brain tissue is sheared thus causing the most life-threatening and permanent types of injuries.
- If I am Wearing A Helmet, I can’t Suffer a Traumatic Brain Injury, Right?
Wrong. While a helmet will assist in preventing injury to the skull (and sometimes reducing injury to the brain), a helmet does not always protect the brain from injury when there is a mechanical injury to the head with great force or velocity. This is because the brain, while protected inside the skull, can actually suffer injury as a result of slamming into or around in the skull.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms To Look For In A Suspected Injured Person.
The Brain Injury Association of America lists the following symptoms to look for when there is a suspected brain injury:
- Spinal fluid coming from the ears or nose;
- Loss of consciousness;
- Dilated pupils;
- Vision changes;
- Respiratory failure;
- Slow Pulse;
- Slow Breathing rate with an increase in blood pressure;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Loss of memory;
- Body Numbness or tingling;
- Loss of bowel and/or bladder control; and
- Mood changes.
If you or someone you know is suspected of experiencing a traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligence of someone else, call Friedman Legal Solutions today at 1-888-411-1677 for a free consultation.