Articles Posted in Traumatic Brain Injury

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People suffering traumatic brain injury (TBI) can appear normal. TBI victims may look perfectly fine. That’s why this condition is often called the “invisible injury.” Because TBI victims can look fine on the outside, these injuries present many special challenges. Because TBI is an “invisible injury,” friends, family and even medical professionals often fail to understand the injury or support the victim. This leaves many TBI victims suffering largely in silence.

Brain injuries can cause many different cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems affecting relationships and work. In our law practice, we have seen many of these impacts on individuals, families and jobs. One ability sometimes impacted by brain injury is referred to as “Impartial third-party punishment (TPP).” TPP is the ability to judge the severity of conduct and assess reasonable punishment. People suffering this problem

are more prone to misjudge when faced with situations involving disputes or requiring discipline .  .  .

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According to data by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2.5 million people visit emergency rooms annually for a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Personally, I think the number of actual TBI cases in our emergency rooms is much higher than documented. Why do I think this? Some patients in the ER have multiple injuries from trauma. Take an injured victim of a car accident for example. When the car accident victim arrives at the emergency room, medical personnel check for life-threatening internal injuries, spinal injuries and other fractures. Unless the person has visible head trauma or obvious symptoms of head injury, that issue may be neglected. Many cases of mild head injury are ignored. Many TBI victims look normal.

In other cases, emergency rooms simply lack the detailed testing needed to detect cases of mild traumatic brain injury. In those situations, the X-ray or CT may appear normal even though the person suffers a significant TBI.

A recent Forbes article notes the lack of consistency by emergency rooms in diagnosing TBI. According to the article:

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Traumatic Brain Injury - Huntsville Personal Injury AttorneysTraumatic brain injuries (TBI) often go undiagnosed and untreated. I regularly meet families with a loved one suffering significant changes in behavior, memory or cognitive function from a brain injury. Despite these life-altering injuries, the injured person’s medical records frequently omit any mention of problems. Why do many TBI cases go undiagnosed and untreated?

I believe factors within both the medical community and affected families lead to this problem. March is brain injury awareness month. More families should be aware of the need for TBI assessment and treatment following a head injury. Here are four reasons TBI cases are often undiagnosed.

EMERGENCY ROOMS IGNORE MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY SYMPTOMS

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March is brain injury awareness month. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can devastate entire families. Many times, the person suffering a brain injury looks fine. Yet, their personality, emotional state and cognitive function can be greatly affected. Some brain injury victims and their families struggle to cope with the changes in personality and mental ability. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability in the United States, contributing to about 30% of all injury deaths. Every day, 138 people in the United States die from injuries that include TBI. Those who survive a TBI can face effects lasting a few days to disabilities which may last the rest of their lives. Effects of TBI can include impaired thinking or memory, movement, sensation (e.g., vision or hearing), or emotional functioning (e.g., personality changes, depression). These issues not only affect individuals but can have lasting effects on families and communities.

In my law practice, I encourage family involvement in the healing and coping process. I also believe it essential for the injured person to see qualified medical specialists. Within the medical community, many healthcare professionals lack the training or experience necessary to understand these complex injuries. I’ve seen many cases where doctors initially ignored significant symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury.