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How To Treat Traumatic Brain Injury?


A traumatic brain injury is always an emergency situation, and symptoms will often worsen rapidly without treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1.4 million Americans suffer a traumatic brain injury every year. About 235,000 of these incidents require hospitalization, and 50,000 result in deaths.

Brain injuries are especially complicated to assess and treat. Whether you believe your injury was mild or severe, you must seek immediate medical care. It’s also crucial that you speak with an experienced Los Angeles brain injury lawyer as soon as possible. We will help you recover all the compensation you are entitled to so that you can focus on getting your life back on track.

Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosis

The Glasgow Coma Scale is a 15 point test administered by a doctor or other emergency medical personnel member to assess the initial severity of a brain injury. This is done by checking a person’s ability to follow certain directions and move their limbs and eyes. The test is scored from 3-15. Low scores indicate severe brain injuries.

The next step in determining the severity of a brain injury is to run the following tests:

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). An MRI uses magnets and powerful radio waves to create a highly detailed image of a victim’s brain. An MRI can be used once a person’s condition has stabilized, or if symptoms have not improved soon after an injury.
  • Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan. A CT Scan is often the first test performed in an emergency room on anyone suspected of a traumatic brain injury. Unlike an MRI, a CT scan uses X-rays to create a detailed image of a person’s brain, and it can show any fractures and or uncover evidence of bleeding in the brain, bruised brain tissue, blood clots, and swelling brain tissue.
  • Intracranial Pressure Monitor: Swelling tissue from a traumatic brain injury may quickly increase pressure inside the skull and can cause more damage. So monitoring brain swelling is crucial to make sure immediate surgical intervention occurs when the brain’s swelling becomes dangerous.

Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Options

Immediate Emergency Care: Emergency medical care for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries will always focus on getting a victim enough oxygen and blood supply, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and minimizing further damage to the head or neck area. Injury victims with more severe injuries may require additional treatment to minimize secondary damage caused by bleeding, inflammation, or reduced oxygen to the brain.

Mild Injuries: A mild traumatic brain injury generally doesn’t require any more treatment other than rest and pain relief medication. This doesn’t mean that a mild injury victim is totally in the clear. A person with a mild traumatic brain injury needs to be monitored for worsening or new symptoms. A doctor must eventually clear a mild traumatic brain injury brain to return to work or school, but most people with mild injuries will gradually return to their daily routines.

Medications

In cases where there is evidence of secondary damage to the brain, the following medications may be administered:

Anti-Seizure Medication: Victims who have suffered a moderate to severe brain injury are at the highest risk of experiencing a seizure during the first week following an injury. Anti-seizure drugs may be administered during that delicate time to minimize additional damage that can be caused by a seizure.

Diuretics: These are used to help reduce the buildup of fluid and pressure inside the brain and help increase the output of urine.

Coma Inducing Medication: Drugs are sometimes used to put people into a temporary coma state to relieve stress on the brain because a comatose brain uses less oxygen to function.

Surgery

Depending on the severity, surgery may be necessary to minimize further damage to the brain. Surgery is used to:

  • Open A window In The Skull: Emergency surgery can be used to create a window in the skull to allow more space for swollen tissues, and to relieve pressure inside the skull by draining accumulated cerebral fluid.
  • Repair Skull Fractures: Surgery may be necessary to repair skull fractures and to remove skull fragments inside the brain.
  • Stop Bleeding In the Brain: Surgery may be necessary to stop bleeding inside the brain.
  • Remove Clotted Blood: Clotted blood can put pressure on the brain and cause further damage. 

Rehabilitation Efforts

Rehabilitation is necessary for most traumatic brain injury victims to relearn basic skills such as walking and talking. Therapy usually begins in the hospital immediately after an injury, and continues in an inpatient rehabilitation unit or residential treatment facility.

Depending on the injury, rehabilitation services may include:

Occupational Therapy: Necessary to help a person relearn or improve skills to successfully perform daily activities.

Physiatry: A specialist trained in rehabilitation and physical medicine will oversee the rehabilitation process and prescribe any necessary medication.

Physical Therapy: This helps with mobility, balance, and walking.

Speech and Language Pathology: Helps a person improve their communication skills, and if necessary, learn to use assistive communication devices.

Neuropsychology: Used to assess cognitive impairment and performance; help a person manage their behavior and learn about coping strategies; and help provide psychotherapy to improve psychological and emotional wellness.

Our Team is Here to Help

If a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, contact an experienced Los Angeles brain injury lawyer at West Coast Trial Lawyers today. Our attorneys will get you maximum compensation for medical care and damages. Consultations are always free, and you only pay when we get you compensation for your injuries. You can reach our friendly staff today by emailing us at info@westcoasttriallawyers.com or by calling toll free at (213) 927-3700.



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