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Of all the injuries which a person can suffer, traumatic brain injuries rank at the top of the injuries absolutely no one wants to have.
Yet despite the fact that traumatic brain injuries contribute to a significant number of deaths and permanent disabilities each and every year, traumatic brain injuries verge on the taboo, as far as talking openly about the injuries.
Damage to one’s brain is extremely frightening, and most of those who live with the injury feel misunderstood. There are as many as a million more traumatic brain injuries annually than all combined cancer diagnoses. Further, there are more yearly fatalities from traumatic brain injuries than from drug overdoses, prostate cancer, breast cancer or HIV.
Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Underreported?
Many believe traumatic brain injuries are grossly understated, due to injuries which go unreported. In other words, it is fairly common for a blow to the head to not be treated as a serious medical issue.
In particular, victims of domestic violence may forego treatment for a traumatic brain injury, due to being fearful of their attacker if they seek treatment. Additionally, many of the symptoms of milder brain damage can be subtle in the beginning, yet gradually they may start to interfere with day-to-day activities. The person with a milder brain injury may start to notice their memory is slipping a bit, then may realize they are distracted and have trouble focusing their attention more than in the past. The words the person thinks in their mind may fail to come out the way they imagined, and they may feel sad or anxious more and more often.
No Protocol Exists for Treating Traumatic Brain Injury
Dr. Anlys Olivera, a brain injury unit researcher at the National Institutes of Health says doctors are often unable to get to the root of a brain injury because there is no protocol which is specific to TBI treatment. Further, TBI symptoms can show up months, years, even a decade after the injury.
The fact that health insurance only covers immediate symptoms of injuries compounds the problem. When the symptoms begin to appear months or years after the injury, there may be no way to have those symptoms paid for.
Traumatic brain injuries can affect a person’s judgment, reasoning skills and even their basic personalities, meaning a TBI can have a significant impact on family members as well. While some patients may be aware of the alterations their brain injury has caused, others may not.
Psychological Treatment Often Overlooked Following a Traumatic Brain Injury
Information collected from ten of the top brain injury rehabilitation facilities in the country show that while these facilities focus on occupational therapy, speech therapy and physical therapy, treatment of psychological disorders are largely overlooked. Only about 50 percent of patients with traumatic brain injuries received psychological treatment, and even then only for an average of 20 minutes per week. In lieu of psychological treatment, the vast majority of those with traumatic brain injuries are given anti-depressant medications.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries
While there are many causes of traumatic brain injury, some are more common than others, such as:
- Closed head injuries from falls are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of TBI-related death.
- Traumatic brain injury can result from contact sports such as football, hockey and boxing.
- Open head injuries from bullet wounds or sharp objects can be as serious as closed head injuries as far as the symptoms of traumatic brain injury.
- Exposure to chemicals and toxins, such as insecticides, solvents, carbon monoxide poisoning and lead poisoning can cause a traumatic brain injury.
- Tumors, infection and strokes can cause traumatic brain injuries.
- Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen can occur when a person has a heart attack, respiratory failure or is in a low oxygen environment.
If you or a loved one receives a traumatic brain injury, it is important to seek medical attention, even if you—or they—feel “fine.” As noted, symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can show up long after the actual injury, and it is important that you seek medical attention immediately.
A mild traumatic brain injury can cause dizziness, chronic headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears, neck pain and a feeling of anxiety. Depression, irritability and fatigue may also be symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury. Most of these symptoms should go away within a few days to a few weeks. A moderate to severe TBI can result in lasting issues with memory, thinking, concentrating and paying attention, as well as the same symptoms as mild traumatic brain injuries.
Contact Our Jackson Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has sustained a traumatic brain injury after an accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney who will protect your rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi accident victims – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.