West Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer
Among the various injuries that people can sustain in an accident, traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe. Like many other medical injuries and illnesses, these injuries can range widely in severity; however, what separates brain injuries from most other medical complications is that the consequences of brain injuries can be wide-ranging and far-reaching.
Some of these consequences can become chronic and many of them could last for the rest of the patient’s life. There are many different accidents that can lead to traumatic brain injuries that everyone should be aware of.Motor Vehicles are a Common Cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Whenever someone decides to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, they run the risk of being involved in a car accident. While car accidents can range in severity from a single-car collision to a multi-car pileup, it doesn’t take a large accident to cause severe medical injuries, including neurological damage.
- Motorcycle Accidents: Many people enjoy riding motorcycles because they create a feeling of freedom as the wind rushes past people; however, motorcycles also do not offer a significant amount of protection for the people riding it. A motorcycle accident can result in a number of medical injuries and bone fractures when someone strikes another vehicle or the pavement. It is vital that everyone on a motorcycle wears a helmet to protect their brain from harm; however, no helmet is perfect. When people strike the ground, it is possible for their head to hit the pavement with tremendous force. This can result in skull fractures, brain bleeds, and serious neurological damage.
- Auto Accidents: Even a typical auto accident can lead to damage to the brain tissue. When someone stops short, such as when their vehicle collides with another object, the seatbelt restrains the body from moving forward and striking the dashboard; however, there is no seatbelt around the head of a driver or passenger. The head and neck area is free to move and can strike the door, window, steering wheel, or dashboard. This can lead to a wide variety of head injuries that range from a concussion to a cerebral contusion or even a hematoma.
- Truck Accidents: Those who drive big rigs may feel like they have an extra degree of protection due to the size of their vehicle but large trucks also take more force to stop. This means that truck accidents are often more serious. Some drivers or passengers could wind up being flung from the vehicle in the event of a serious accident, creating the potential for catastrophic personal injuries such as permanent brain damage. Anyone operating a vehicle as large as a tractor-trailer should operate it with extra care.
When individuals are believed to have suffered a brain injury, they are transported to the hospital for emergent care. A CT scan will be performed to quickly assess whether there are bone fractures or a brain bleed. If a bleed is found, emergent surgery could be necessary to evacuate the liquid building in the skull cavity and relieve any swelling in the brain.
After the patient has been put to sleep, a neurosurgeon will shave the patient’s head and peel back a portion of the patient’s scalp. This is done to reveal the skull. Then, the surgeon will use specialized equipment to remove a portion of the patient’s skull, called the bone flap. Any liquid building in the skull cavity will be removed and any continuing bleeds will be stopped.
By removing the skull flap, the brain tissue is allowed to swell without any risk of herniation, which would be catastrophic and potentially life-threatening. Once the patient’s brain has stopped swelling and reduced back to normal size, the bone flap will be replaced and the patient’s skull will take time to heal.Follow-Up Appointments with the Surgeon
Any time a patient’s skull is opened up, the surgery is considered major. There is always the potential for complications after surgery, such as a rupture of the stitches or the development of an infection. When the brain tissue is involved, close follow-up is a necessity to ensure that no new neurological complications have developed and that the patient is recovering normally.
If patients are asked to follow-up with their surgeon, they should make sure to do so as instructed. At regular follow-up appointments, the surgeon will ask the patient if they have any concerns. The surgeon will inspect the surgical site to look for signs of infection and to make sure that the stitches are still intact. If there are dressings that need to be changed, the surgeon will do so at the visit.
With brain surgery, the physician could also perform a few quick neurological exam procedures to check for the development of any complications. These will be compared to any symptoms that might have developed as a result of the traumatic brain injury. As the patient recovers from the injury and surgery, the prognosis and new baseline will become more obvious and should be handled on a case by case basis.
The video below discusses how traumatic brain injuries are treated.West Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a West Sacramento Brain Injury Lawyer. There are many different causes of brain injuries; however, they all deserve the attention of a qualified professional. If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, please contact me at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 for friendly, free advice.
We are members of the National Association of Distinguished Counsel and the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 3.31.20]