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Difficulties in diagnosing and treating traumatic brain injuries

On Behalf of | Jan 1, 2019 | Articles

Traumatic brain injuries can cause a myriad of problems and may be hard to detect, diagnose and treat due to several factors.

The human brain is the center of a person’s emotions, thoughts, movements, knowledge and function. If the soft tissue of the brain becomes damaged, however, these functions can become severely disabled or cease altogether. The brain can become damaged when the soft tissue hits against the bony skull after experiencing a sudden impact from an automobile accident or fall in Georgia.

Traumatic brain injuries affect thousands of Americans every year, and are responsible for the deaths of 138 people across the country every day. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that TBI is involved in approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths in the country. The numbers can be hard to report because mild cases of TBI may go undetected, undiagnosed and untreated. This can cause a problem as research published in Neurology reported that even minor cases of TBI can result in serious and lasting cognitive disabilities.

Detecting and diagnosing brain injuries

Some moderate to severe cases of TBI present obvious symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, seizures, slurred speech, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, mood changes, sensory deficiencies and increased confusion. Yet, with milder brain injuries, the symptoms may be misdiagnosed as something else. People with mild traumatic brain injury may experience slight confusion, headaches, blurred vision, fatigue, trouble concentrating and lightheadedness, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. While some cases of mild TBI will cease on their own, up to 20 percent of people with mild TBI will not fully recover from the damage.

Physicians use a multi-faceted approach when diagnosing brain injuries in accident cases. Not only do they use the patient’s subjective report of general symptoms, but many use imaging tools, including MRIs and CT scans. These scans provide a map of the patient’s brain allowing physicians to see if there is an injury and where it is located. Mild injuries are not likely to show up on these scans, and therefore, go undiagnosed. New studies show that diffusion tensor imaging can detect mild TBI cases and helps doctors to treat otherwise undetected cases, according to FOX News.

Treatment options

Although there are few treatment options available for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries, physicians can limit the amount of brain bleeding and swelling that occurs after an injury. This will reduce the extent of secondary trauma that a brain injury may cause. In more severe cases, the patient may go through an extensive rehabilitation process. Each patient’s treatment plan is customized to meet his or her specific needs. This may include an array of therapists, including speech, occupational, mental health and physical therapists.

When to contact an attorney

A traumatic brain injury can change the course of your life. Some people are left unable to work or care for themselves following a brain injury. Others will require extensive and ongoing medical treatment and physical therapy to treat their injuries. A personal injury attorney in Georgia may be able to help people whose lives have been changed by traumatic brain injury.

Keywords: TBI, brain, injury, accident