Caring For A Loved One With A Tbi

Caring For A Loved One With A Tbi

TBI is also known as traumatic brain injury and it is not a diagnosis you or a loved one wants to receive. A TBI results from some sort of injury to the head.  You could have been thrown from an automobile during the crash or hit your head on the steering wheel. You could experience a fall on-the-job. 

Sometimes, people are hit on the head from falling machinery, even violence, or a sports injury can lead to a TBI. You may be injured in a motorcycle or ATV accident.

Regardless of what caused your TBI, it will likely be a long road to recovery and caretakers have a long road as well.

TBI and Recovery

Every year, an estimated 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury which resulted in 2.5 million emergency room visits in 2013. Among those, 80,000 to 90,000 will experience long-term disability.

For young children, TBI is a leading cause of death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is not just the initial blow to the brain, but a secondary one if your brain ricochets inside the skull so you may have two areas of injury. Once the brain suffers this sort of trauma, it can begin to bleed internally. Pressure builds up inside the skull with nowhere for the blood to go.

Symptoms may include confusion, dizziness, headache, altered heart rate, and even death.  Immediate medical attention is vital to determine the extent of injury. The patient may receive a CAT (CT) scan to determine if there is a brain bleed.  If there is, quick action is necessary, even though the patient may feel fine.

If a loved one is hospitalized with a TBI, it will be very important to follow doctor’s orders. The victim may not remember the accident. He may get easily agitated. He may experience personality changes and want to leave the hospital.

As the caregiver, you will need to understand that the brain has changed as a result of the injury. The goal will be to return the individual to normal functioning but both of you will need to be patient.

The patient may experience:

  • Difficulty with Normal Brain Functioning – Cognition may be altered as well as memory and reasoning
  • Behavioral Changes – The patient may exhibit aggression and personality changes. He may display anxiety or become depressed
  • Sensory Changes – A TBI may result in difficulty hearing, smelling, taste, and touch

In order to reduce agitation and anxiety you may want to limit stimulation in the room.  Limit visitors if they do not seem to be welcome by the patient.  Turn off the television and reduce too much stimulation at one time.

Do not use complicated words or long sentences. Please avoid drugs and alcohol.

According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), only about half of patients reported seeing a medical practitioner three months following the injury.

The researchers conclude many patients with traumatic brain injury do not receive adequate follow-up care.

If the TBI victim is a student, his school will have to understand the challenges facing this child and together you will need to reach out the resources available in your community. 

They may include rehabilitation, assessments, physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

The sad news is that 22% of patients with mild TBI remain functionally impaired one year after the initial injury.

An Experienced Personal Injury Law Firm

While everyone hopes the TBI victim will return back to his old self, there may be permanent changes to the brain and its functioning.

Seeking the help of an experienced personal injury law firm may begin the process of determining the at-fault party for the accident that led to the TBI.

There may be avenues to seek compensation to pay for present and future medical care that includes pain and suffering, lost income, and the medical and costs of rehabilitation. The insurance provider for the other side will argue that you contributed to your own accident and should be prevented from recovering.

Our compassionate lawyers have seen this all before and will aggressively advocate for your legal rights to recovery. Please call our Birmingham office at (205) 666-6000 for a free initial consultation.

Mike Bell Blog

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