According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there
were about 2.8 million traumatic brain injury-related emergency department
visits, hospitalizations, and deaths that occurred in the United States
in 2013. While brain injuries can range in severity from mild to severe,
or even fatal, even one minor brain injury can potentially have a lingering
impact on a person’s life, increasing the risk of developing certain
conditions later on in life.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about brain injuries
that can help shed some light on what to expect from your injury:
What is a severe brain injury? When the brain receives a neurological injury that results in physiologic
changes to the brain, this is considered a severe brain injury. There
are four main types of injuries that can cause this type of trauma –
closed head injuries, penetrating injuries, anoxic brain damage, and toxic
brain injuries. Anoxic brain damage occurs when the brain is deprived
of oxygen, causing brain cells to die. Toxic brain injuries can be caused
by the ingestion of toxic chemical agents or exposure to them.
How is the severity of a brain injury determined? The Glasgow Coma Scale is used to determine the severity of a brain injury
and can be applied to determine one’s prognosis and the likelihood
of regaining independence. Measures like the Rancho Los Amigos Scale are
used to assess responsiveness, consciousness, and receptive skills. However,
it is generally not possible for the effects of a brain injury to be fully
understood until after the injured person completes medical treatment
and begins the recovery process.
What are the clinical features of a severe brain injury? If a brain injury survivor has a low Glasgow Coma Scale grade during his
or her initial medical intervention, this would indicate a severe brain
injury. In such cases, the survivor is usually in a coma, or in a state
of diminished consciousness that can last for hours, days, or even weeks.
Other symptoms include reduced ability to respond to stimuli, changes
to rigidity and tone of muscle, difficulties with autonomic functions
like respiration, and intra-cranial pressure or fluid build-up.
Does the location of an injury impact its severity? Physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functions are brain-based
and, as such, the location of an injury can affect the severity of the
problems a brain injury survivor experiences throughout his or her lifetime.
Are there differences between adult and childhood brain injuries? Children are still in the developmental stages of their life, so a brain
injury could disrupt this development and result in psychological and
behavioral problems that could affect their ability to perform in school
and interact with family and peers. Moreover, the effects of a brain injury
in children are not often seen until years later, presenting themselves
as cognitive or learning problems that are often initially ignored.
Physical Symptoms Commonly Associated with Brain Injuries
- Nausea and motion sickness
- Persistent headaches
- Sensitivity to crowds and other busy environments
Psychological and Emotional Problems Commonly Associated with Brain Injuries
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Increased or decreased drive
- Change in temperament
One might also experience issues with judgment and do things that he or
she was unlikely to do prior to the injury, including drug or alcohol abuse.
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney in Spokane
The effects of a traumatic
brain injury are often debilitating and can impact the life of a survivor for years
to come. If you suffered a traumatic brain injury that was caused by someone
else’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. At Sweetser
Law Office, our Spokane brain injury attorneys are backed by over 30 years
of experience and work on a contingency fee basis. Reach out to us today!
For compassionate and honest representation, call our office at
(509) 219-0020 to schedule a free case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our