Even with rapid advances in technology and research, brain injuries remain a major challenge to the medical community. While the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have caused a spike in the number of traumatic head injuries, it has also led to new discoveries. Science is always trying to find new ways to understand and treat the symptoms of TBI, or traumatic brain injury.
Types of Brain Injuries
People injure their brains in a variety of ways. It can happen as a result of a car accident, slip and fall, assault, or due to a medical issue, such as a stroke or heart attack. It can come from an impact to the head or a loss of oxygen to the brain. Head injuries can result in chronic headaches, memory loss, or the complete loss of function in one or more areas of the body.
Treatment and Challenges
The ability to treat brain injury symptoms is limited. The damage that is done is rarely reversible. Fortunately, doctors have a few options to try and limit permanent damage if they are able to reach a patient soon after the trauma occurs. In some cases, such as a stroke, there are medications that can greatly reduce the chances of permanent injuries to the brain if they are administered within a couple of hours of the onset of symptoms. When a person suffers a severe blow to the head, doctors may remove part of the skull to allow the brain to safely swell, as it is not the swelling that injures the brain in most cases. Instead injuries often result after a swollen brain pushes against the skull, damaging tissues. There is also a technique that involves shunting the brain. A tube is inserted to drain fluid if fluid buildup is causing pressure in the head. These methods can not only save lives, but they can also limit the effects of a head injury.
Brain Injuries and the Law
When someone suffers a head injury in a car accident, the full extent of their injuries and their effects might not be known for some time. Symptoms such as headaches or memory loss might clear up, or they could be a long-term issue. It can be difficult to prove many of the problems suffered by accident victims with a brain injury, but an experienced Chicago attorney will be familiar with the medical professionals and evidence necessary to establish a case. Medical experts on the topic are now armed with much more information than even a decade ago.
Whether or not a victim receives compensation for a brain injury will depend on a wide variety of factors. Personal injury cases often require a showing that a party behaved negligently when causing injury to another. On the job injuries, on the other hand, don’t require the same type of proof, and instead are usually covered through the workers’ compensation system which is more like insurance.
The long-term prognosis for people with head injuries varies with each case. Some people enjoy a symptom-free recovery while others struggle with symptoms for a lifetime. For this reason, it can be particularly helpful to receive professional assistance from both medical and legal professionals who are experienced in identifying the long-term effects, and needs, that result from such injuries.