When a person suffers from a traumatic brain injury, it means that the brain has been damaged by a jolt, bump or blow to the head. Not every kind of impact is going to result in a TBI, but some will. Of those, they are diagnosed as mild, moderate or severe (acute).
Mild TBIs may last for a few weeks, causing issues that a person has to cope with in the short-term. A mild concussion, for example, may cause headaches and drowsiness that dissipate over time.
More serious TBIs can be dangerous or life-threatening. They can impact thinking, language, emotion and sensation. Some severe side effects of a traumatic brain injury could include:
- The onset of epilepsy and seizures
- A higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
- Cognitive deficits
- Weakness or numbness in the limbs, fingers and toes
- A loss of coordination
- Slurred speech
Brain injuries may come with complications
In some instances, brain injuries do have complications such as:
- Altered consciousness, like a coma or vegetative state. Brain death and a minimally conscious state are also potential complications of a brain injury.
- Physical complications such as seizures that could occur years following the injury.
- Hydrocephalus, which occurs when cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the spaces of the brain. This causes swelling and increased pressure that can lead to further brain injury or death.
- Headaches, which can persist for months after an injury.
- Vertigo, which causes dizziness.
Additional problems could include paralysis of the face, cognitive problems (like a loss of memory or an inability to learn new information), trouble communicating, changes in behavior, depression and anxiety.
No two patients are alike, so the above symptoms won’t cover all the possible side effects, symptoms and complications of brain injuries.
After a brain injury: Getting the right care
After a brain injury, you need to make sure that you get the right medical care. Part of any personal injury claim is taking steps to get you the compensation that is needed to cover your recovery, lost wages and treatment for any complications that may arise.
Initially, you will need to go to the hospital. You may need to go through imaging tests to identify the kind of injuries you have and to help your medical team put together a treatment plan. With the right treatment plan in place, medications, surgeries or other steps being taken, you will be in the best position to recover as much as possible.