a much needed primer on traumatic brain injuries ii

In our previous post, we started taking a more in-depth look at traumatic brain injuries with the intention of both providing greater insight and debunking certain misconceptions. Specifically, we looked at the various types of TBIs — mild, moderate or severe — and the symptoms associated with each.

Today, we’ll continue this discussion by focusing on treatment options and long-term prognoses for TBI patients.

Can a person diagnosed with a TBI receive effective treatment?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke indicates that while virtually nothing can be done to reverse the initial damage caused by a sudden and external blow to the head, victims can nevertheless still be provided with effective treatment designed to both stabilize their condition and prevent further neurological harm.

For example, patients who have suffered moderate or severe TBIs can have any immediate health dangers mitigated through prompt medical attention — ensuring a continuous oxygen supply, regulating blood pressure, monitoring blood flow, etc. — and any future health dangers thwarted through comprehensive imaging testing — X-rays of the skull and neck, computed tomography scans, etc.

This effective treatment isn’t just limited to the sphere of immediate medical care, however, as NINDS indicates that patients who suffer moderate or severe TBIs can also receive effective rehabilitative treatment — physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc. — in the wake of their accident.

All of this, of course, is predicated upon the ability of medical professionals to properly diagnose the TBI from the outset and not dismiss its symptoms as that of another less serious condition.

What is the long-term prognosis for TBI patients?

According to NINDS, those who suffer moderate or severe TBIs are frequently left with such common disabilities as cognitive problems, communication deficiencies, sensory processing difficulties and behavioral/mental health issues. However, the duration and degree of these disabilities often depends upon such widely varying factors as the severity and location of the TBI, as well as the age and general health of the patient.

It must be noted that the long-term prognosis for patients who suffer severe TBIs can sometimes be far grimmer with stupors, comas and even persistent vegetative states being an all too frightening reality.

Here’s hoping that these last two posts have shed some light on the always complex topic of TBIs, and demonstrated all that can go wrong when medical professionals ignore or misdiagnose symptoms, or neglect to order the necessary tests. In these situations, it’s imperative that victims or their family members consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can explore their avenues for seeking much-needed justice.

Source: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “NINDS traumatic brain injury information page,” July 22, 2014

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