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Millions of Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year. A TBI occurs when an individual experiences sudden distress to the brain. This can be the result of the head suddenly and violently hitting an object, an item piercing the skull, or even sudden movement of the brain within the skull.
The most common type of brain injury is a concussion. Concussions are particularly common amongst athletes, elders, and children. A person who has suffered a concussion may or may not lose consciousness. Skull fractures, brain swelling, or brain bleeding may accompany concussions. Some people who have suffered a concussion recover quickly, while others may not fully recover for years. Those who have suffered a concussion are at greater risk for potential blood clots, which can prove fatal.Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
Falls are often cited as the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries, accounting for more than 40% of TBIs each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Falling causes more than half of TBIs in children up to 14 years of age. In elders (those over the age of 65), 81% of TBIs are caused by falling.
In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov), TBI is a primary cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths. All told, traumatic brain injuries may account for as many as 2.5 million emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and/or deaths each year. Approximately 250,000 children under the age of 19 may be treated in emergency rooms each year as the result of a sports or recreation related TBI, receiving a diagnosis of concussion. Other notable facts regarding TBIs include:
- Men are far more likely to die from TBI than women.
- Death rates from traumatic brain injuries are highest for elders (65 years and older).
- In teens and young adults, (15-24 years of age) assault is the leading cause of TBI-related emergency room visits.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be diagnosed as mild, moderate, or severe. Common symptoms of a mild TBI include:
- Brief loss of consciousness;
- Confusion or cognitive difficulties;
- Blurred vision;
- Memory loss;
- Amnesia (immediately before and after trauma);
- Difficulty sleeping; and/or
- Lack of focus.
These symptoms may appear instantly, but many times they appear up to several days following the incident. A person who suffers a more severe TBI will often experience many of the same symptoms, but in addition may experience:
- Convulsions or seizures;
- Persistent vomiting or nausea;
- Dilated pupils;
- Slurred speech;
- Loss of coordination;
- Aggression and/or aggravation;
- Weakness or numbness in limbs; and/or
- Inability to awaken from sleep.
An injury to the brain can have life-long effects. These may include cognitive impairments such as memory loss, communication and language difficulties, concentration problems, and/or posttraumatic amnesia and dementia. TBIs can also lead to sensory problems including changes or problems with vision, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching.
Emotional changes may also emerge in a person who has suffered a TBI. These effects may range from anxiety or irritability, to insomnia or depression, to alcohol or drug abuse, along with impulsive and/or violent or unusual behavior.
Physical effects of a traumatic brain injury may include seizure, loss of coordination, and paralysis. Traumatic brain injury has also been linked to Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Traumatic brain injury may be permanent and can have a devastating impact on the victim as well as their family. In more severe cases, an individual who has suffered a severe TBI may require medical care around the clock. However, even a minor TBI can have disabling effects on individuals and their loved ones.
Any person who suffers a traumatic brain injury must have expert care and specialized rehabilitation. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI as a result of the negligent or intentional acts of another, you need a brain injury lawyer that understands the complicated nature of these cases and the specialized experts that are required to ensure you obtain full and fair compensation.
For a free and confidential consultation with an experienced attorney, please call us directly at (866) 338-7079, or click here to submit your inquiry online.