Recovering From Traumatic Brain Injury Following an Accident, West Palm Beach Attorney Discusses
Every year, millions of people nationwide sustain a traumatic brain injury. Some die from their injuries. Many require prolonged care and hospitalization. The recovery process can take several weeks to many years. And cognitive issues may persist for the rest of a victim’s life to varying degrees.
How traumatic injury affects the brain
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are defined as damage or destruction of brain tissue and are categorized as either closed or open head injuries. In a closed head injury, the brain is injured when it strikes the inner wall of the skull at a high velocity. Concussions are a common form of these injuries, but severe impacts can result in more extensive injuries. The rapid movement of the brain can also stretch and injure neuronal axons, which allow the brain to communicate with itself and the body.
In open head injuries, the skull is penetrated in some way, such as being hit by flying debris. These injuries, and later impairment, tend to be limited to a specific area of the brain, but can be just as severe.
Either category of trauma can result in loss of consciousness, coma, and impair breathing and motor functions. In many cases, crash victims experience:
- Loss of memory
- Irritability and mood changes
The recovery process
The recovery process varies from person to person, even those with similar injuries. Recovering from moderate to severe brain trauma is a much different process compared to mild cases and are often measured using the Rancho Los Amigos Scale. This scale consists of 8 stages.
In stages 1-3, patients are either in a coma or awake only for short periods of time. By stage 3, the patient can react to commands, though inconsistently.
Progressing through stages 4-6 is a good sign for recovering patients. Their awareness starts to return, but they can be confused and agitated. By stage 6, patients can perform more tasks independently.
Patients at stages 7 and 8 are nearing full recovery. They can learn new skills, though slower than before. They will also have a poor short-term memory, judgment, and problem-solving skills. The final stage marks the point when the patient can function properly and return to their daily life.
Even at the final stage of recovery, there may be a lasting impact on a person’s quality of life following a traumatic brain injury. When such serious injuries happen due to someone else's negligence, that person needs to be held responsible for their reckless behavior. Contact our office today to find out how a personal injury attorney at our law firm can help you.