Brain injuries can come in many different forms, and each type of brain injury may require a different approach when it comes to medical treatment. In some cases, the true severity of a brain injury can be difficult to determine. A person might appear to be completely healthy on the outside while dealing with serious emotional and cognitive issues below the surface. In other situations, the severity of a brain injury may be obvious at first glance. In these extreme cases, brain injuries can leave victims paralyzed or in a coma.
Whatever the case may be, brain injury victims often ask themselves whether they will ever fully heal after their accidents. These victims can feel encouraged by the various treatment options available today. Our understanding of brain injuries is advancing rapidly, and we are developing a number of innovative new strategies. What may be considered a permanent, life-altering brain injury today could be treatable in the near future.
Unfortunately, many brain injury victims have to accept the fact that their injuries are indeed going to be with them for the rest of their lives. Even with the stunning advances made in medicine over the last few decades, some injuries are simply permanent. Victims who have suffered these kinds of brain injuries must do everything they can to get the financial compensation they need to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, and any other out-of-pocket expenses. It is crucial for these victims to work with qualified, experienced personal injury attorneys in order to make this happen.
Traumatic Brain Injury Treatments
Many brain injuries fall under the general classification of a traumatic brain injury, also known as a TBI. Traumatic brain injuries can vary greatly, from minor concussions to brain death. One of the most troubling consequences of a TBI is the loss of brain cells. In order to address this issue, many researchers have been focusing on a concept called neurogenesis. Neurogenesis refers to the birth of new neurons (or brain cells). There is significant debate over whether this occurs naturally in adults or not, but children develop new neurons as part of their growth process. The question is whether we can induce neurogenesis artificially with various medical treatments, as this would theoretically address many of the long-term issues for TBI patients.
Researchers are currently exploring a number of innovative methods to try to make this possible. One example is nano-pulsed laser therapy, which has seen some success in rats. Also known as optoacoustic therapy, this method has been shown to decrease TBI-induced impairments in rats. Rats who suffered head injuries and received this treatment performed significantly better in cognitive tests compared to those who did not.
For mild TBIs, the typical treatment simply involves resting. However, healthcare providers now understand how important it is to closely monitor patients who have suffered TBIs, even if the injury seems relatively minor. There have been instances of patients falling into comas hours or days after suffering a slight knock to the head. Doctors today advocate for “brain rest” and recommend that their patients cease all mentally demanding tasks for a period of time after their injury.
Treatments for Serious Brain Injuries
Serious brain injuries such as penetrating brain injuries typically require a much more proactive response from medical professionals. These types of injuries can result in severe blood loss, skull fractures, blood clots, and other issues. If there is bleeding in the brain, these pools of blood must be removed as soon as possible.
Skull fractures are particularly dangerous because they can result in pieces of skull becoming lodged in the brain tissue. These pieces must be removed in order to ensure a proper healing process. Also known as intracranial pressure, ICP involves swelling from blood within the brain. In some cases, a small hole must be drilled in the skull to drain fluid and relieve the pressure.
After a patient receives medical treatment, the true recovery process begins. Many brain injury victims need to learn how to perform basic tasks once again, like walking and talking. This requires a lengthy rehab program. In addition to physical therapy and speech therapy, patients may also require psychological counseling. Brain injuries can often cause changes in personality, increased aggression, and other changes. A trained psychologist can help address many of these issues.
We are Beginning to Understand Traumatic Brain Injuries
The medical community has taken massive steps forward in recent years when it comes to understanding traumatic brain injuries. Within the space of just a few decades, we have significantly changed the way we look at the diagnosis, prognosis, detection, and treatment of these injuries.
Today, many organizations are taking initiatives to spread awareness about head injuries. Children’s sports have become a focal point, as we now understand that even a slight concussion or knock to the head at an early age can lead to significant consequences in adult life. We can expect the medical community to continue pushing forward with further research and initiatives throughout the future. With any luck, we may be able to make brain injuries a much less serious problem in the next few decades.
How Victims Can Get the Compensation They Need for These Treatments
It’s not enough for brain injury victims to simply become aware of the various treatment options available. They also need to have the necessary funds so that they can afford these treatments. For many victims, paying for this type of treatment out of their own pocket simply is not possible. Fortunately, injury victims can work with a qualified law firm like Mary Alexander & Associates to file a personal injury claim.
Whether they receive a settlement directly through an insurance company or after a lawsuit, this allows plaintiffs to receive the funds they need to pay for the necessary treatment options. With a settlement in hand, suffering brain injury victims can take advantage of the best medical treatment that the United States has to offer.