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Severe traumatic brain injuries: The basics

Severe traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most catastrophic injuries a person can experience. They impact not only the physical well-being of individuals but also their psychological and emotional health.

These injuries occur because of damage to the brain from sudden trauma, which can happen through a violent hit or jolt to the head or body. Something penetrating the skull, such as a fragment of the skull or a bullet, can also cause severe TBI.

Wide range of symptoms

The symptoms of severe TBI can vary greatly. The location of the injury, type, and extent of damage impact the overall effects a person will experience. They may include:

  • Cognitive difficulties: Memory loss, concentration problems and difficulty understanding
  • Physical impairments: Loss of coordination, speech difficulties and chronic pain
  • Emotional changes: Personality shifts, depression and aggression

These symptoms might not be immediately noticeable, and it is sometimes challenging to diagnose a TBI. Delays in diagnosis may allow the effects of the injury to worsen more than what was present immediately after the incident.

The road to recovery can be long and challenging, often requiring a multifaceted approach involving physical therapy, medication, psychological support and sometimes surgery.

Fatal TBIs can occur

Severe TBIs can be fatal. Several factors play a role in whether a TBI will be fatal. These include the injury’s severity, the patient’s age and the timeliness and quality of medical care received.

Several complications of a TBI can also increase the risk of death. These include increased intracranial pressure and brain herniation. A secondary brain injury caused by inflammation, bleeding or reduced oxygen supply to the brain can also lead to death.

Anyone who suffers a TBI should get immediate medical care, even if they aren’t showing symptoms. Victims of these injuries can seek compensation if another party’s negligence contributed to the incident. Survivors can file a personal injury lawsuit to seek justice, while family members can seek justice for the loss of a TBI victim via a wrongful death lawsuit.