Brain Injury FAQ

What is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury, which is also known as a brain injury or head injury, occurs when a blow or jolt to the head results in damage to the brain. And a traumatic brain injury can range in severity from mild to severe. A mild traumatic brain injury occurs when a person has a brief change in their mental status or a loss of consciousness. It’s most commonly known as a concussion and often goes undiagnosed and therefore the person who suffers that type of loss doesn’t usually get the benefits that they need. Severe traumatic brain injury involves a loss of consciousness for hours or days or weeks and can result in permanent disability.

What is anoxic brain injury?

Anoxic brain injury, also called a cerebral hypoxia, is a serious life-threatening injury. It can cause cognitive problems and disabilities. It occurs partially because of a lack of oxygen. The term “hypoxic” means partial or lack of, and other hypoxic injuries or anoxic injuries can also occur because of a complete lack of oxygen. Obviously the greater the loss of oxygen, the more widespread and serious the injury will be.

What is the most common type of traumatic brain injury?

The most common type of traumatic brain injury is a concussion, which again is classified as a mild traumatic brain injury. Mild traumatic brain injuries often go undiagnosed and consequently the person suffering that type of injury loses out on the benefits of rehab or medical care.

What is CTE brain injury?

CTE or chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in athletes or others who have a history of repetitive brain trauma including symptomatic concussions or multiple hits to the head. CTE has been known to effect boxers and there’s a record of it dating back to the 1920s.

CTE currently can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem, meaning after death when they actually look at the brain itself, and normally occurs in, as I said before, individuals who have been subjected to repetitive traumatic brain injuries, accelerations of the head on impact, or subsequent repetitive brain trauma.

CTE can occur from frequent concussions from playing contact sports like American football, ice hockey, boxing or wrestling.Other individuals who have been diagnosed with CTE have been those involved in military service as well as people who have histories of chronic seizures, histories of domestic abuse or some type of repetitive head injuries.

What is the leading cause of death related to TBI?

The leading cause of TBI-related death varies by age. Falls are the leading cause of death for persons 65 years or older. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury deaths for children and young adults ages 5 to 24 and assaults are the leading cause for children from 0 to 4 years of age.

What causes traumatic brain injury?

From 2006 to 2010, falls were the leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) accounting for about 40 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the United States that would have resulted in an emergency visit or hospitalization or death. Falls disproportionately affect both the youngest and oldest age groups. Unintentional blunt-force trauma, being hit by an object of some sort, was the second-leading cause of TBI and it counted for about 15 percent of all traumatic brain injuries in the U.S., withclose to a quarter of those were in children less than 15 years of age.

Among all age groups, motor vehicle crashes were the third overall leading cause of traumatic brain injury, about 14 percent. When you look at just traumatic brain injury deaths, motor vehicle crashes were the second-leading cause, about 26 percent. About 10 percent of traumatic brain injuries are due to assaults. Every day 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include traumatic brain injuries.

What does storming mean in a brain injury

Sympathetic storming is excessive uncontrolled activation of a sympathetic nerve system. The sympathetic nerve system is responsible for the control of body arousal which includes heart rate, respiration, perspiration, release of adrenaline, and other characteristics that your body gives off in response to stress.

Sympathetic storms are a common complication of a traumatic brain injury and tend to cause increased elevated body temperatures or increased heart rates or perspiration. At the same time it can also do exactly the opposite and lower your heart rate or induce your adrenaline. So it can work in both directions and it’s a very common complication of a traumatic brain injury.

What is acquired brain injury?

An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that occurs after birth. It’s non-congenital, non-degenerative. It prevents the normal function of the brain. It can result in memory loss, change of personality, behavior dysfunction, difficulty managing your anger, communication, impairment, mobility limitation.

How do you treat traumatic brain injury?

Treating traumatic brain injury occurs through a variety of treatment and different rehabilitation programs. Some of the different types of rehabilitation facilities for a traumatic brain injury include acute rehab, which is an intensive program. There are coma treatment centers that provide specific medical care for those in a coma. There are transitional living programs that are nonresidential to teach different skills. There’s long-term care and supervised living programs, behavioral management programs to teach appropriate social behaviors. There are day treatment programs. There are a lot of different types of rehab that can be utilized depending on the extent of the traumatic brain injury.

What are the symptoms of brain injury or traumatic brain injury?

Symptoms of a brain injury or traumatic brain injury can first occur immediately after the traumatic event. However,sometimes it appears days or weeks later. Physical symptoms can range from a loss of consciousness or a state of being dazed or confused or disoriented, headaches, nausea, or vomiting, fatigue or drowsiness, difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual or dizziness or loss of balance. You can have sensory symptoms like blurred vision or ringing in the ears or a bad taste in your mouth or sensitivity to light or sound. You could have cognitive or mental symptoms like memory problems or concentration problems or mood changes or mood swings or feelings of depression or feelings of anxiousness.

How much compensation for brain injury?

Well, there are many factors that determine the amount of compensation you can receive for a brain injury. They include things such as the extent of the injury, meaning how severe the traumatic brain injury was, the age of the injured party, who’s responsible for the injury, how much insurance coverage is available to compensate someone for that injury. All of these are specific factors to look at when trying to determine range or value for compensation.

How long does a brain injury take to recover?

Recovery for a brain injury completely depends upon the injury itself and the severity. There are many people who can never recover from a traumatic brain injury. It just depends on the extent of the injury. If it’s something that’s causing small symptoms from a concussion, you can see a resolution of those symptoms sometimes within hours, sometimes within days, and then those who have a severe brain injury may never recover from that type of an injury.

How do you improve memory after a brain injury?

You can improve memory after a brain injury depending upon, again, the severity of that type of injury. There are specific rehabilitative exercises that can be performed both inpatient and outpatient to work on your memory skills and again, those depend upon the extent of the injury and the type of rehabilitation program that an injury victim is undergoing.

What is acute brain injury?

An acute brain injury or acute treatment of a traumatic brain injury is aimed at minimizing secondary injury and life support. Usually an acute brain injury is a much more significant type of brain injury and so in those cases you’re looking at mechanical ventilation to help breathing and to keep pressure down in someone’s head, devices to monitor brain activity, medication to sedate an individually. It’s a much more significant type of traumatic brain injury.

What is moderate brain injury?

A moderate brain injury is a term used when a person experiences changes in brain function for longer than a few minutes following a trauma. It’s normally symptoms that are similar to a mild traumatic brain injury, but those symptoms do not usually go away or over time may get worse. So the person is obviously coherent, maybe experiencing headaches or dizziness, and they last longer obviously than a few minutes, but over time don’t go away.

When should you see a doctor for brain injury?

Clearly if you’ve had some sort of impact or trauma to your head, you should always see a doctor. You need to be aware of any concerns, headaches, dizziness, and behavioral changes. You need to seek emergency medical care if there’s any of these types of signs following a recent blow or traumatic injury to the head.

Even a mild injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis. So it’s certainly recommended that even if you feel that the injury wasn’t that significant, but you’re showing some signs or some symptoms that you need to seek emergency medical care.

Can brain injury result from medical malpractice or negligence?

It can. Every medical procedure, especially those where you are receiving anesthesia, runs a risk that you may be deprived of oxygen. When your brain is deprived of oxygen, that’s when a brain injury can occur and so there are traumatic brain injuries that do occur during a medical procedure and they may or may not be the fault of the physician. So it’s something you need to consult with a lawyer to determine if in fact there was medical negligence.

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