Traumatic Brain Injuries Require a Lot of Care

Traumatic Brain Injuries Require a Lot of CareLiving with a traumatic brain injury is a challenge – not only for the victims, but for the people involved in their care. For people whose relatives and loved ones have a traumatic brain injury, a practical rehabilitation plan may be difficult to sustain at home. As such, many families put their trust in a long-term care facility, like a nursing home. According to Brainline, a recent study revealed that there is an estimated 20 to 30 percent of people who contain a moderate or severe brain injury are admitted into a nursing home.

If you are new to the process of caring for a loved one with a brain injury, there is a lot of information you should know. Today, we will look at some fo that information, so that you can feel more secure in your choices, and know that you are not alone.

The basics of TBI

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain or skull comes into contact with an external force. While TBIs can range from mild to severe, the effects from these types of injuries can be everlasting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that there were 166 Americans who died from a traumatic brain-related injury each day in 2019.

TBIs are categorized in three ways: mild, moderate, or severe.

An individual who suffers a bump or blow to the head may sustain a mild TBI. Although mild TBIs are not as catastrophic as severe TBIs, the external force to the head causes the brain and head to move back and forth in a rapid manner. When this sudden movement occurs, the brain is at risk of bouncing against the skull. This type of movement can cause threatening damage such as damage to the brain cells and chemical changes in the brain.

Moderate or severe TBIs can be caused by a blow to the head or penetration of the head by a foreign object. Moderate or severe TBIs often lead to lifelong health issues for survivors, such as issues with concentration, cognitive difficulties, and weakness in the person’s arms or legs. In addition to these types of symptoms, survivors of moderate or severe TBIs have greater risks of suffering from dangerous conditions like pneumonia and seizures. In some cases, if the brain trauma is especially severe, it can lead to paralysis of different body parts, including the arms, legs, or face.

In addition to the physical and emotional changes that a survivor goes through, survivors experience changes like self-control issues, a lack of awareness in abilities, problems in social situations, and physical and verbal outbursts. Some survivors may engage in risky behavior after their brain injury. Emotional changes like depression, sadness, anger, irritability, and mood swings. Some survivors have a difficult time adjusting to their new life and permanent injury.

What are the leading causes of TBIs?

While it is true that anyone is at risk of suffering from a TBI, there are particular situations that create cause TBIs for survivors. The CDC reports that falls are one of the leading causes of TBIs-related hospitalizations for citizens aged 75 and older in the United States. Other causes of TBIs involve motor vehicle accidents and firearm-related incidents, particularly suicide. The CDC also reports that there were 15 percent of all U.S. high school students who self-reported at least one sports-related traumatic brain injury within a 12 month time period.

Who is most at-risk of a TBI?

Per the CDC, the people who are most at risk of suffering from a TBI include:

  • Children (up to age 17)
  • The elderly (aged 75 and older)
  • Males

Children from the newborn stages to four years old are the most at risk of succumbing to a traumatic brain injury, while young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 are at risk of developing a TBI. Adults from the age of 60 and older are at risk of suffering from TBIs due to falls. Regardless of the age range, males from any age range can obtain a TBI from activities such as sports and reckless driving.

What are the symptoms of TBIs?

Some of the physical symptoms of mild TBI include issues with speech, a loss of balance, nausea, fatigue, and a headache. Although the symptoms can last from a few minutes to a few hours, people who suffer from a mild TBI can experience memory problems, sleeping problems, a loss of consciousness, and a state of being disoriented.

People who suffer from a moderate or severe TBI may have all the same symptoms of a mild TBI, though those symptoms are likely to be more pronounced, such as constant vomiting or nausea. In addition, they may suffer seizures, a headache that worsens over time, a weakening or numbing sensation in fingers and toes, and draining clear fluids from the ears and nose.

Long-term care for survivors of moderate and severe TBIs

The severe nature of moderate and severe TBIs requires permanent and ongoing care for survivors. This necessary long-term care will impact not only the survivors but their loved ones for the rest of their lives. In addition to the emotional toll that the recovery process will take on the survivor and their family members, medical expenses can begin to pile up. The CDC reports that the overall cost to survivors of moderate or severe TBIs across the country is an estimated $76.5 billion in medical expenses alone.

This is why if your loved one sustained a brain injury of any degree because of the negligence of someone else, it is critical that you seek both medical attention and legal guidance. Along with hefty medical bills – some of which will last for the rest of their lives – a brain injury can lead to:

  • Loss of household income. A person with severe TBI may never be able to hold a job or return to the work they once did.
  • Loss of educational opportunities. Even a mild brain injury can lead to weeks of treatment and may force your child to lose time at school. College students may have to skip a semester while they recover.
  • Property loss. When the brain trauma was the result of a vehicle accident, for example, you will need to pay for repairs.
  • Caregiver expenses. A brain injury victim may require at-home care, for weeks, months, or even years. This means you will need to hire outside help, or someone in the household may need to become a full-time caregiver, which will also reduce the household income.

There are so many expenses associated with brain injuries. You should not have to worry about those costs while you’re focused on helping your loved one, especially when it was someone else’s negligence that led to the TBI. Filing a personal injury lawsuit can be complicated, and you want to have someone who is familiar with the law to help you. Even if you choose to settle a claim, know that the insurance company will do whatever it can to keep its money, and the chances are good you will not be offered a fair or just settlement. Your insurer has lawyers to them help them; you should have one, too.

If you or your loved one suffered a brain injury caused by someone else’s negligence, The Hayden Law Firm wants to help. Please call our office in St. Louis at 314-480-3100, or submit our contact form for a free, no-risk consultation. We proudly serve clients throughout Missouri and Illinois.