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A traumatic brain injury may lead to secondary injuries

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, refers to brain dysfunction that develops due to a violent blow to the head. TBIs may commonly occur as a result of a car accident, fall, or severe sports injury. Due to the serious complications that can result from head trauma, there is currently a significant amount of research being done regarding the possible causes and treatment of TBIs.

For example, the University of Cincinnati Medical Center will soon begin to study secondary injuries which may occur after suffering a blow to the head. Events in the brain that take place days after the initial injury can cause more permanent injury than the initial trauma to the head. These events are commonly known as "brain tsunamis."

The UC Medical Center study will look at brain activity in almost 200 patients who have suffered head trauma by using electrode monitoring, using a $4.7 million grant from the Defense Department. This method will measure "spreading depolarizations" (brain tsunamis) without using surgical methods.

The goal is to diagnose and then prevent brain tsunamis by stopping the depolarizations from occurring.

Diagnosis of traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are often difficult for physicians to diagnose. If an individual visits his or her physician complaining about impaired cognitive ability and other symptoms of TBI after a serious blow to the head, it may be clear that a head injury has occurred. However, the full extent of the injury may not be obvious without further tests.

In addition, if an individual is suffering from not just TBI but other life-threatening injuries, it is much easier for a physician to miss a closed head injury. Unfortunately, a delay in proper diagnosis can lead to further harm.

Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries

The symptoms of a TBI depend on the specific areas of the brain that are affected. For example, if the frontal lobes are injured, the patient may suffer from impaired cognitive functions such as trouble thinking, performing routine tasks, or behaving inappropriately. Other symptoms of traumatic brain injuries include:

  • Loss of coordination and balance
  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Persistent nausea and vomiting
  • Convulsions and seizures
  • Emotional disturbances

Symptoms of mild TBI may be temporary and cease after a few days or weeks. However, in other instances, symptoms of TBI can last for months, years or may be permanent. Not only will the duration of symptoms depend on the severity of the injury, but it will also depend on how quickly the individual seeks treatment.

Did you suffer a head injury in an accident?

Because head injuries can be difficult to diagnose, it can be hard to obtain a fair settlement from an insurance company after suffering a head injury in a car accident or slip-and-fall. You must provide evidence of the full extent of your injury in order to be compensated fairly and get the medical treatment you need. 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help walk you through the process of obtaining an accurate diagnosis from a medical provider and establish your injury to the insurance company. If an insurance company is not offering a fair settlement, your lawyer can also take your case to trial. 

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