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What can be done to treat traumatic brain injuries?

A traumatic brain injury or TBI occurs when an external force disrupts the normal function of the brain. Normally, that external force is a severe bump, jolt or blow to the head. However, TBIs can also be caused by something penetrating the head and causing damage to the brain.

Generally, the treatment for TBIs are broken down into two categories based on the severity of damage a patient has suffered. Those categories are patients suffering from mild TBIs and those suffering more moderate to severe injuries. A moderately injured TBI patient may experience a brief change in mental status or consciousness. Unfortunately, many mild TBI victims fail to seek out medical care after these events despite the fact that many brain trauma experts recommend follow-up evaluations. Brain swelling even after mild head traumas sometimes leads to further injuries.

A good example of a mild TBI might be a person playing in a weekend pickup basketball game who receives a blow to the head from an opponent's elbow. That person may experience dizziness and may even temporarily lose consciousness.

The more severe forms of TBI are much more debilitating and often require extensive medical care. These types of patients can often experience extended periods of unconsciousness. Bouts of amnesia are also associated with these types of head injuries.

Typically, moderate to severely injured TBI patients will receive emergency medical care and may be transferred to a facility better equipped to treat their injuries. Often, these patients are in states of extended unconsciousness which may require them to be placed into a coma recovery program.

Generally, inpatient hospital or nursing home rehabilitation is recommended for patients who have emerged from a coma after a short period of time. They receive several types of therapies which are designed to assist the patient with their physical, occupational, speech and cognitive restoration.

If you are a victim of TBI you should know that these treatments can be expensive. You should also know that if you have received a traumatic brain injury as a result of a preventable accident you may be able to sue for compensation of your medical costs. Your North Carolina personal injury attorney can assist with evaluating the circumstances of your case and determining whether you can benefit from filing a civil lawsuit against those responsible for your injuries.

Source: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, "What Is the Course of Treatment Post-TBI?" accessed Jan. 14, 2015

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