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Raising Awareness Of Brain Injury In Southwest Florida

This is National Brain Injury Awareness Month, a time to reflect on the causes of Brain injury in southwest Florida and strive to come together as a community and improve the awareness of this condition.

Every brain injury is different, and each person living with the wide-ranging symptoms of a traumatic brain injury also has a family coping with their condition. Providing support to people with traumatic brain injury and understanding their condition will help improve their outcome from their condition. Changing our perspective when an understanding brain injury is our task. Learning the signs of a brain injury and when to seek medical attention could be the difference between mild and severe injury.

National Brain injury month was created in 1993 by the Brain Injury Association of America to raise public awareness and has been observed since. During this month, medical centers and organizations that research and provide support to brain-injured persons stand together to educate and provide understanding and support to this condition and those in the community that helps brain-injured people live better lives.

What is Traumatic Brain injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury is a sudden physical injury that may cause damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries fall under two types; closed head injury and penetrating injury.

Closed Head Injury TBI

In the case of a closed head injury, the brain is harmed by physical trauma that may happen when there is a blow, bump, or strong jolt to the head. TBI from closed head injuries can also happen over time from many small impacts that build up - such as is common with full-contact sports. With closed head injuries, there is often no outwardly visible wound on the victim, and special medical scans are required to fully diagnose the problem.
Compensation by insurance companies for TBI caused by closed head injuries during legal settlements is often more contentious, as there is no obvious outward sign that the person has a brain injury, without a formal diagnosis by a trained medical professional.

Penetrating Brain Injury

A TBI can also happen when an object penetrates the skull. Called a penetrating injury, symptoms of TBI from a penetrating injury can range from mild to moderate and severe depending on the nature of the trauma.

Penetrating head injuries tend to be less contested by insurance companies because of their outwardly visible nature.

Concussions And TBI

Concussions are considered to be a mild form of TBI. The effects of concussions can vary widely and have in past, not been viewed too seriously, however, concussions can result in serious long-term issues especially if the injured person has had a concussion before. More severe Traumatic brain injury can be serious leading to physical and psychological symptoms, coma, or even death.

What Are the Causes of Traumatic Brain injury?

The main causes of TBI depend on the type of injury to the head, some of the main causes of a closed head injury include:
  • Falls - this is the most common cause of head injury
  • Motor vehicle crashes - the most common cause of head injury with young adults
  • Sports injury - including contact sports
  • Impacts - Being struck by an object
  • Child abuse - most common for children under the age of 4
  • Blast injuries - due to an explosion

Some of the common causes of a penetrating brain injury include:
  • Serious Auto or other vehicle accidents
  • Construction accidents
  • Industrial accidents or explosions
  • Extreme events such as storms or earthquakes or assaults
  • A head injury that may cause a bone fragment to penetrate the human skull

Who Is at Risk for Traumatic Brain Injury?

Anyone can suffer a TBI however, statistically, men are more likely than women to become Traumatic Brain Injury victims.

Adults age 65 and older are at a greater risk of being hospitalized or dying from a traumatic brain injury as falls can become more common.

What Are the Symptoms of a Traumatic Brain injury?

Even Mild TBI May Include:
  • A brief loss of consciousness however some remain conscious after an injury
  • A headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Ears ringing
  • Mouth tastes bad
  • Lethargy causing fatigue
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Memory, thoughts, concentration, attention trouble

Severe TBI Symptoms

If you have mild symptoms of Traumatic brain injury you may also suffer from these severe symptoms as well:
  • A headache that does not go away easily
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Not being able to be woken from your sleep
  • Dilation of the pupils. Where one or more of the pupils are larger than the other in the (dark center)
  • Speech that is slurred
  • Arms and legs that seem weak or numb
  • Losing concentration
  • Agitation, restlessness or increased confusion

How is a Traumatic Brain Injury Diagnosed?

If you notice any of the following severe or mild symptoms of traumatic brain injury, you will need to get medical attention as soon as possible. Your health care provider will use several advanced medical tools to make a diagnosis:
  • Your provider will ask you about your symptoms and details of your head injury
  • A neurological exam will be conducted
  • Imaging tests and CT scans and an MRI will be conducted

Determining Severity

Tools such as a Glasgow coma scale will determine how severe your head trauma is. This scale will measure your ability to open your eyes, move, and speak.

Your provider may also do neuropsychological tests to check to see how your brain function is performing vs baseline.

What are treatments for Traumatic Brain Injury?

The treatments for Traumatic brain injury are determined by many factors which include the location of the injury, the size, and the severity of your injury.

For Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, the main treatment to follow is rest and recovery. If you have a headache you may want to take over-the-counter pain relievers. It is important at this time to always follow your doctor's instructions. That way you will completely recover from your injury and you can gradually return to normal activities. If you do too much too soon you might take longer to recover or worsen your condition. Contact your provider if your symptoms are not getting better or new symptoms to develop.

For Moderate to Severe TBI, the first thing that needs to be done is stabilization to prevent further injury. Caregivers will manage blood pressure, check the pressure inside your skull, and make sure that there is enough blood and oxygen getting to your brain tissue.

Your treatment Once you are stable my include:

  • To reduce additional damage to your brain you may need surgery
  • Hematomas (blood clotting) will need to be removed
  • Dead tissue or damaged brain tissue will need to be removed
  • Skull fractures will need to be repaired
  • Pressure relieved from inside of the skull

Medicines to treat the symptoms of Traumatic Brain injury and lower the risks associated with it include:

  • Medication for anxiety or to lessen nervousness or fear
  • For prevention of blood clots Anticoagulants
  • For prevention of seizures Anticonvulsants
  • For the treatment of depression and mood instability Antidepressants
  • For reduction of muscle spasms Muscle relaxants
  • For increase alertness and attention Stimulants will be needed

Rehabilitating After Suffering A TBI

Rehabilitation after suffering TBI is frequently expensive and maybe long-term. Recovering from TBI may involve multiple therapies for physical, emotional and cognitive difficulties:

  • Physical therapy
    For building strength, coordination and flexibility physical therapy may be prescribed

  • Occupational therapy
    Occupational therapy will help with relearning how to perform daily tasks, such as cooking, bathing and getting dressed.

  • Speech therapy
    To help with speech and other communication skills and treating swallowing disorders you may need speech therapy

  • Psychological counseling
    Psychological counseling will help with coping skills, working on relationships and improving your emotional well-being

  • Vocational counseling
    To assist in your ability to return to work and deal with workplace challenges you will need vocational counseling

  • Cognitive therapy
    For improving your memory, attention, perception, learning, planning and judgment one will need cognitive therapy.

Long-term TBI Injuries & Mental Health Issues

For those with permanent disabilities, having a traumatic brain injury can put you at risk for other health problems such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Treating these issues can improve your quality of life.

Preventing A Traumatic Brain Injury

While there is no way to prevent the possibility of being injured, there are some common-sense steps that help reduce your risks in and around your home or place of work:

  • Always wear your seatbelt and use booster seats for children
  • Never drive after using drugs or alcohol this is a deadly combination
  • Always wear properly fitted helmets when bicycling, skateboarding, and playing sports like hockey and especially football
  • Making your home or workplace safer. For example, you can install railings on the stairs, grab bars on the edge of the tub, get rid of tripping hazards, use window guards and safety gates for young children.
  • Improve your balance and stability with strengthening exercises and regular physical activity
  • Employeers be sure your employees are following all OSHA safety guidelines, such as required head protection or wet floor notices to help avoid accidents

Remember, brain injury awareness month this March provides an opportunity to bring attention to Traumatic Brain Injury in the community and promotes strategies to improve the quality of life for those living with traumatic brain injury and their friends and families.

How Can I Participate In Brain Injury Awareness Month?

Use hashtags #BrainInjuryAwarenessMonth and #ChangeYourMind to share on social media, or visit to learn more.

Get Financial Compensation For Brain Injuries

Brain injuries of all kinds can have a serious, debilitating, long-term life-altering effect on the injured and their families. The wide variety and long-term nature of the therapies required to recover from TBI are expensive and can be too much for many families.

Additionally in the case of closed head injuries often insurance companies will try and reduce the amount they pay or get out of paying entirely.

If you or a family member has been suffered a head injury, contact the experienced attorneys at All Injuries Law Firm. Our law firm has had decades of experience representing all types of injured clients including people with serious head injuries. Our firm will lift the burden of dealing with the insurance companies from your shoulders leaving you to focus on recovering while our team fights to get you the maximum compensation under the law.

Contact us today at 941 625-4878 for your free attorney case review.

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