Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Treatments and Therapies
About 1.7 million individuals suffer from traumatic brain injuries each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. When a TBI occurs, it interrupts the normal function of the brain and may cause catastrophic damage. Depending on the specific type of traumatic brain injury, the patient may need a different treatment approach that is right for their unique situation. For instance, more severe brain injuries necessitate emergency medical intervention and may lead to hospitalization. Some TBI’s require a single operation or multiple surgeries, while others are treated after a medically-induced coma.
When a person suffers a brain injury, the medical treatment that begins in the hospital is just the beginning of their journey. Many patients require continued medical care and rehabilitation. Others with permanent disabilities may need lifelong supportive care and assistance with activities of daily living. As you can image, the costs of such treatments and therapies can present a significant burden to patients and their families. In fact, the average person with a severe TBI will require between 5 and 10 years of dedicated medical care and rehabilitative services, amounting to approximately $4.5 million for healthcare alone.
If you or a loved one have suffered from a traumatic brain injury, you are likely wondering what types of treatment options may be available to you and how you can possibly afford to cover the costs of the care you or your loved one needs. If negligence by another party was responsible for your injury, you may be able to obtain compensation through legal action. An experienced New Jersey brain injury attorney can help evaluate your unique situation and discuss your potential grounds for a claim. Call 973-435-4551 for more information.
Treatment Options for Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries
Mild traumatic brain injuries, most commonly concussions, are often treated with complete rest, depending on the severity of the injury and the medical advice provided by your physician. Your doctor may stress that you should practice total rest, including “brain rest,” before returning to normal daily activities. If you start performing daily activities too soon, you may prolong the healing process. This is true even if all you are doing is working on the computer or concentrating on reading a book. You should also likely avoid alcohol or drugs during your recovery process, given that these substances can increase healing time and put you at risk of further complications. Finally, you should record any symptoms that may be related to your traumatic brain injury and report them to your doctor. Possible symptoms of TBI that you may not expect include changes in mood, irritability, and similar unusual reactions to everyday situations.
If you are a parent who is concerned that your child or teenager may have suffered a mild traumatic brain injury or concussion, you should seek the advice of a healthcare provider without delay. In the interim, your child or teen may need to avoid activity where they potentially injured themselves. Although frightening, suffering a second concussion before you have healed from the initial head injury can lead to permanent brain injury or death.
Treatments for Severe Brain Injury
If you or a loved one suffer a traumatic brain injury that is more severe, your medical providers will be focused on preventing death by stabilizing the spinal cord and ensuring that the heart, lungs, and other vital organs continue to function. Doctors may relieve pressure in your brain by drilling a hole through your skull and inserting a special catheter. Emergency surgery may be necessary if significant damage to the brain tissue has occurred. Depending on the situation, a person with severe TBI may need surgery to address bleeding within or surrounding the brain, repair skull fractures, or allow for additional space for swollen tissue.
Severe brain injuries often require additional treatments to minimize secondary damage caused by reduced oxygen supply to the brain, bleeding, or inflammation. Possible treatment may involve medications to treat seizures, drain fluid, or medically-induce a coma. The vast majority of people with severe brain injuries will need rehabilitative treatments and therapies to recover lost function and adapt to activities of daily living.
Brain Rehabilitation & Therapy after TBI
Once doctors ensure that you’re stabilized after a traumatic brain injury, your medical team may start rehabilitating you, even as the acute treatment phase of your injury is ongoing. You will then likely receive more extensive rehabilitation as your condition improves. Research published by Stanford Health Care indicates that rehabilitation can train the brain to compensate for the loss of function in injured tissue to some extent; the brain can sometimes learn to reroute functions and information previously handled by another, now damaged, area. Rehabilitation can have appreciable to marked success, depending on your age, genetics, the quality of your care and other factors.
Brain rehabilitation programs focus on re-teaching self-care skills like grooming, bathing, feeding, and dressing. These programs also ensure proper nutrition, medication, and other forms of self-care. Your rehabilitation team will also work to ensure that you improve any lost mobility skills, communication skills, and cognitive skills like memory, concentration, problem-solving, and organizational skills. A coordinated rehabilitation team may include rehab nurses, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, speech pathologists, audiologists, dietitians, respiratory therapists, and other medical and support professionals. Such rehabilitation can often lead to positive results.
Can a Brain Injury Settlement Cover the Costs of Treatment?
The road to recovery after a traumatic brain injury can be long and arduous, and unfortunately, total rehabilitation may never occur. Ongoing treatments and therapies may be required for months, years, or even the rest of life. The costs of such care can be staggering and may be compounded by loss of income due to time missed from work or disability that prevents you from working entirely. Obtaining a recovery with the help of a knowledgeable New Jersey brain injury lawyer can be life-changing when faced with this uphill battle. Damages for a brain injury can cover the costs of current and future medical treatment, including hospital and doctor visits, medications, surgeries, physical therapy and other therapies, and loss of income. To speak with an attorney about your potential brain injury claim in New Jersey, contact our NJ brain injury attorneys today. We have successfully recovered millions in cases like yours and have the experience you need on your side. Contact us at 973-435-4551 or fill out our convenient online form for a free case evaluation.
Treatment for Acquired Brain Injury, Stanford Healthcare