Ukiah Brain Injury Lawyer
A traumatic brain injury takes place when a blow to the head alters the neurological function of the central nervous system. Unlike other parts of the body, the neurons inside the brain may not regenerate following a severe injury. Therefore, everyone needs to understand some basic information regarding brain injuries and neurological damage.How Does a Traumatic Brain Injury Occur?
It is challenging for anyone, including medical professionals, to predict when, why, or how neurological damage might occur. However, there are a handful of common causes of head and brain injuries. Some of these include:
- Contact Sports: Any contact sport might lead to a severe brain injury. This includes football, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball.
- Accidents in the Workplace: Accidents often occur when people least expect them. A tumble down the stairs or a slip and fall injury may lead to a serious head injury. Those who work in manufacturing and construction are at an increased risk of suffering a head injury.
- Motor Vehicle Collisions: Auto accidents are a common cause of TBIs. An impact between the passenger and the door, window, steering wheel, or dashboard can lead to a life-threatening traumatic brain injury. A serious accident might also cause wrongful death.
- Pedestrian Accidents: Pedestrians are particularly vulnerable while crossing the road. A distracted driver might collide with a pedestrian, leading to catastrophic injuries.
The brain is responsible for nearly all of the body’s functions. Depending on the location of the injury within the brain, the injury can manifest in different ways. Some of the most common signs of a TBI include:
- A Loss of Consciousness: While not all TBIs will lead to a loss of consciousness, this is one of the most common symptoms. A serious blow to the head can cause someone to pass out.
- Chronic Headaches: Headaches that won’t go away are a warning sign of a severe injury. Chronic headaches indicate that the brain is having trouble processing information and stimuli.
- Vomiting: If someone suffers a head injury, the pressure changes within the skull might cause someone to feel nauseous. Because of this, vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of a TBI.
- Mood Changes: The brain is responsible for an individual’s personality and emotions. Someone who suffers a head injury may appear more irritable. He or she might also shift between happiness, sadness, anger, and excitement very quickly. This is called emotional lability.
- Weakness: Damage to certain parts of the brain may cause a motor and sensory weakness. People might feel weak in their arms or legs. They may also feel numb in certain parts of their body.
A severe TBI might cause all or some of these symptoms. Anyone who is suffering from the symptoms above, especially after a severe accident, should seek medical care immediately. The faster a TBI is diagnosed, the quicker the treatment process can begin. This may lead to an improved prognosis.Diagnosis of a Traumatic Brain Injury
Several steps are involved in diagnosing a traumatic brain injury. The first step will be to explore the symptoms discussed above. After this, the doctor will perform a physical exam. He or she will test the function of the brain. This might involve:
- A hearing test to assess whether or not the cranial nerves that feed the ears have been damaged.
- A visual test to assess whether or not changes in intracranial pressure have damaged the eyes.
- Testing the strength of the various muscle groups, looking for signs of motor nerve damage.
- Looking for areas of numbness or tingling such as on the face, arms, legs, or torso which might indicate sensory nerve damage.
- Assessing other functions of the brain, including executive functioning, information processing, cerebellar function, and spatial coordination.
If the doctor is concerned that someone might have suffered a TBI, imaging scans might be next. This might include an x-ray, CT scan, or an MRI. A CT scan is often performed first because it provides a three-dimensional image in a short amount of time. A CT scan might reveal skull fractures, a brain bleed, or signs of cerebral swelling. If a more detailed image is needed, an MRI is often next. The level of detail on an MRI is far better than a CT scan, but it also takes significantly longer. Therefore, an MRI is not often used in an emergency situation. Once the diagnosis is made, the treatment process can begin. With quick treatment, the prognosis of a TBI can be more favorable.The Treatment of a Head Injury
The treatment of a head injury will start as soon as the diagnosis is made. The comprehensive treatment of a traumatic brain injury might include:
- Medications: The doctor may use drugs to protect the brain from further damage. This includes medications to control blood pressure, intracranial pressure, swelling, and pain. Some of these medications might also be taken on a long-term basis.
- Surgery: In some situations, doctors might perform emergency surgery to prevent cerebral herniation. A cerebral herniation can be fatal.
In addition to medical and surgical management, long-term treatment might also include physical therapy. This may help someone regain lost motor and sensory functions following a brain injury.
The video below takes a look at the treatments of traumatic brain injuries.Ukiah Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah Brain Injury Lawyer. If someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, you'll need the guidance of an experienced brain injury attorney. Call me for free, friendly legal advice at (707) 564-1900 or (800) 404-5400.
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