Statistics show that around 1.5 million people in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury annually. A TBI is a serious injury, often caused by a harsh blow to the skull that damages the brain. Injured parties in Corpus Christi, Texas, may need extensive medical treatment and lifestyle adjustments after a TBI.
Types of TBI and symptoms
Closed traumatic brain injuries do not penetrate or break the skull; these injuries are commonly caused by auto accidents or falls. The rapid jolt of the skull often causes the brain to shake and swell, which tears brain tissue. An open TBI penetrates the skull and fractures it, which may be caused by falling objects, bullets or glass.
TBIs range in severity from mild, which might or might not cause loss of awareness, to severe, which typically require hospitalization. An example of a mild TBI is a concussion, resulting in headaches, blurry vision, nausea, vomiting and memory problems.
A diffuse axonal injury is a serious TBI, which causes damage to the brain’s nerve fibers, or axons. A moderate to severe TBI may cause death, constant nausea and vomiting, coma, slurred speech, vision loss and seizures.
TBI diagnosis and treatment
Hospital staff commonly assesses the severity of traumatic brain injuries based on the Glasgow Coma Scale. They may ask the patient to perform tasks, such as wiggling fingers, to check motor function and verbal responses. MRI and CAT scans cannot detect a TBI, but they may be used to eliminate other possible conditions and brain bleeding.
Mild TBIs can commonly heal on their own with proper care, medications and rest, but patients should still follow medical advice. More severe TBIs often require surgery to remove blood clots or repair skull fractures as well as rehabilitation therapy and speech therapy.
Even a minor TBI can have long-term effects on patients, requiring lifestyle changes. If negligence caused the injury, the patient may be able to recoup damages to help cover medical expenses.