Traumatic brain injury is one of the most common forms of injury in the U.S., so it important to learn how to recognize the signs.
One of the most common forms of injury that people undergo in New York is called traumatic brain injury or TBI. Traumatic brain injury occurs when part of the brain becomes damaged. A couple examples of the types injuries found in TBI patients are contusions, which are bruises to brain tissue, and hematomas, which are broken blood vessels in the brain.
The complexity of the brain
The brain is composed of many different sections. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, a few examples of these are Broca's area, which corresponds with speech control; the frontal lobe, which affects decision making and logical thinking; and the cerebellum, which affects balance and other functions. Due to the precise functions of these sections, damage to even one small area of the brain can result in improper function of the entire organ.
A wide range of symptoms
The symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary depending on whether the injury is mild, moderate or severe. Factors that influence the symptoms that will appear include the severity of the initial injury, the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, and the maintenance of blood pressure. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that these symptoms include the following:
- Mild: A mild injury to the brain will usually heal on its own, though it can have some unpleasant sensations involved. Dizziness, ringing in the ears, blurred vision, lightheadedness, headache, fatigue, and trouble with memory can occur. Sometimes people have difficulty with thinking or concentration, and possible mood or behavioral changes.
- Moderate: A moderate TBI is more impactful and requires medical attention. This kind of damage can often be permanent. A person suffering from moderate traumatic brain injury may have a persisting headache. They may lose coordination and slur their speech. In addition, they may experience all the same symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury.
- Severe: Typically the most severe TBIs result in permanent disabilities. These can leave people in a coma or a vegetative state. Even if slightly responsive, an injured person may remain in a stupor.
Getting treatment immediately after the head is struck or the skull is penetrated, or at the first sign of these symptoms, may prevent someone from further injury.
Safety goes a long way
Thirty percent of injuries and deaths in the U.S. result from TBI, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of these, about 40 percent are caused by falls. Another 14.3 percent are caused by motor vehicle accidents. People doing activities with a risk of severe falls should use proper safety harnesses and helmets. When driving, wearing a seatbelt is one way to keep the head and the rest of the body stable.
Those in Albany who have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another person have the right to seek financial compensation. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer could reveal some options in such cases.