Traumatic Brain Injury: Understanding the Challenges
Suffering a traumatic brain injury or TBI is a serious matter with far-reaching implications for the future. The resulting challenges aren’t just physical but extend to the mental, cognitive-communication, and behavioral, amongst others.
Before digging into the effects of TBI, it’s important to understand what the term means.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A TBI is described as a blow or bump to the head that upsets the activity of the brain. Not every bump to the head will be a traumatic brain injury. The damage can range from mild to moderate to severe and the effects can be short-term, long-term, or even permanent.
A mild case is one in which the change in mental status and/or consciousness is brief. A more severe TBI is one in which the person was unconscious for a significant period of time and may have even experienced amnesia.
What are the challenges?
There is a range of problems that a person experiencing a TBI may have to deal with. Sometimes the injuries are so severe that the sufferer may not be able to be responsible for their own care.
Let’s dig a little deeper into some of the specific challenges that can come with a traumatic brain injury:
- Physical. A person may experience nausea, headaches, seizures, a loss of consciousness, lessened muscle strength or paralysis, issues with movement, balance, and coordination.
- Sensory. Depending on the area of the brain that was injured, a person may be at greater risk of a stroke. They also may lack the sensitivity to determine their location in space, lowering their ability to react properly to harmful stimuli. For example, they may not be able to tell how hot their bath water is and burn themselves.
- Behavioral. A person with a TBI may have trouble expressing emotions in the same way they did prior to their injury, or even experiencing those emotions. They may develop anxiety disorders, become combative, or depressed. Getting frustrated easily, having mood swings, and being impulsive or irritable are often results of TBI.
- Cognitive. Problem-solving, ability to pay attention, and other thinking impairments may be caused by a traumatic brain injury. Setting goals and working toward them may be outside the victim’s capability. Memory can also suffer, although the memory of events that happened before the brain injury are usually not affected.
- Communication. Patients suffering from a TBI may have difficulty understanding speech, as well as producing speech in the correct way. They may have trouble writing and understanding written language. It can often appear as a foreign language to them. Sometimes, involvement in conversation is difficult because they may interrupt or generally not have an awareness of inappropriate behavior.
What can be done?
While each different problem carries a different treatment option, they all can have significant costs attached. Those expenditures rise when a loved one cannot live on their own or be responsible for their own care.
Seeking compensation legally may be the only way to cover the costs necessary for treatment and for long-term care. The lawyers at Howard Yegendorf and Associates are experienced and can guide you through the process.