Category Archives: Brain Injuries

How Long Does Post Concussion Syndrome Last?

Monday, December 24, 2018

Concussions are some of the most common traumatic brain injuries in the United States. Although treatable and relatively mild compared to more severe brain injuries, concussions can still cause severe medical complications and leave victims more susceptible to concussions in the future. One of the most problematic possible effects of a concussion is the manifestation of Post-Concussion Syndrome, a medical condition that can entail a host of adverse symptoms.

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Post-Concussion Syndrome is a very complex medical condition that entails different symptoms for everyone who experiences the condition. It is important to note that Post-Concussion Syndrome applies to the symptoms a person experiences following a concussion and the term does not necessarily describe an exact set of symptoms.

Symptoms following a concussion typically subside within a week to ten days, but they can persist for months or even more than a year. Some reported symptoms are common following concussions.

  • Headaches, specifically tension headaches. It is also possible for a concussion victim to have tension headaches because of a neck injury that occurred at the same time as the concussion.
  • Rest is one of the most important treatments following a concussion. It is possible for a concussion victim to experience dizzy spells from standing up too fast or from remaining standing for too long.
  • A concussion can make a victim feel sapped of his or her energy, and these feelings can persist for some time. Again, rest is a very effective treatment.
  • Irritability and mood swings. A concussion can cause unpredictable changes in a person’s personality, and Post-Concussion Syndrome has a tendency to cause mood swings and episodes of intense agitation.
  • Insomnia and sleep difficulties. A person struggling with Post-Concussion Syndrome may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and lack of sleep can potentially exacerbate other symptoms.
  • Memory problems. Post-Concussion Syndrome can interfere with memories and cause short-term memory difficulties following the injury.
  • Sensitivity to sound and light. One of the most common symptoms of a concussion and Post-Concussion Syndrome is increased sensitivity to light and sound.

Understanding the Effects of a Concussion

Medical research still has not pinpointed the exact reason why some concussion victims develop permanent symptoms of Post-Concussion Syndrome while others appear to make full recoveries in a matter of days to weeks. Some believe that a concussion causes structural damage to the brain itself which can, in turn, alter several brain functions. The brain may adapt to these changes and alter patterns of cognition and behavior rather than returning to normal after healing, so it is possible for a person to display significant personality changes after a concussion.

It is impossible to accurately predict how long Post-Concussion Syndrome will last for a particular patient. However, research has indicated that people who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, depression, and anxiety are statistically more likely to suffer from long-term Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms. Social environment, family support, and coping skills also seem to play a role in this.

Managing Post-Concussion Syndrome

Since you cannot predict how long Post-Concussion Syndrome will last for an individual, the best thing to do is to follow the attending physician’s instructions, get lots of rest, and take medications to manage unpleasant symptoms. It is important to track any changes in your condition after a concussion, for better or worse. If you notice some symptoms starting to increase in severity, notify your doctor immediately as this could be a sign of severe brain damage or another medical condition.

It is also crucial for anyone who has had a concussion to do everything possible to limit the chance of additional concussions in the future. For example, if you sustained a severe concussion while playing a team sport and experienced Post-Concussion Syndrome symptoms for several months, this should be a sign that it would be best to avoid returning to that sport in the future. In the event somebody else’s negligence caused your brain injury, speak with a knowledgeable Bakersfield brain injury lawyer to learn about your options for financial recovery.

Posted by highrank at 7:16 pm

What Is the Glasgow Coma Scale?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe injuries a person can suffer and some traumatic brain injuries result in periods of unconsciousness. The Glasgow Coma Scale is a tool used by physicians to determine the severity of unconscious periods. Long periods of unconsciousness can have a dramatic effect on the health of the brain and it is vital for attending physicians to understand their patients’ situations and the risk of long-term brain damage.

The Glasgow Coma Scale helps physicians understand the severity of a brain injury and the scale uses several metrics to help determine this. In reality, anyone can refer to the Glasgow Coma Scale after another person suffers a brain injury to determine the severity of the victim’s condition. If your brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, be sure to speak with a skilled Bakersfield brain injury lawyer to learn more about your legal options.

How Does the Scale Work?

The Glasgow Coma Scale measures three aspects of a brain injury: eye opening, verbal response, and motor response. A brain injury can interfere with all of these factors, and the Glasgow Coma Scale helps first responders ascertain the immediate damage following a brain injury.

The person administering a Glasgow Coma Scale test will first judge the victim’s eye opening. If the victim cannot open his or her eyes it qualifies as “not testable” or “none.” If the victim opens his or her eyes in response to pressure, this qualifies as a score of “2,” and eye opening in response to sound is a score of “3.” If the victim’s eyes spontaneously open, this receives a score of “4.”

The next step of the test is measuring verbal response ability. This scale includes:

  • 5: the victim appears oriented in his or her verbal responses.
  • 4: the victim appears confused based on verbal responses.
  • 3: the victim may speak incoherently.
  • 2: the victim makes sounds, but no intelligible words.
  • 1: the victim cannot make any sounds or words.
  • NT: “not testable,” which only applies to individuals who cannot speak regularly, such as infants.

A similar scale exists for motor response, but it extends to an additional level. This scale includes:

  • 6: the victim can obey simple commands such as touching fingertips together or pointing at objects in the distance.
  • 5: the victim displays localizing motor responses.
  • 4: the victim shows normal flexion in motor responses.
  • 3: the victim shows limited flexion in motor responses.
  • 2: the victim displays extension in motor responses.
  • 1: no motor response.
  • NT: “not testable,” which only applies to victims who cannot offer motor responses even in normal circumstances.

Once the person administering the Glasgow Coma Scale test determines scores for all three verticals for a victim, he or she adds the scores together to determine the severity of the victim’s condition. A mild brain injury typically falls in the range of GCS 13 to 15. A moderate brain injury will have a GCS score of 9 to 12, and a severe brain injury will measure 8 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale.

Treating Brain Injuries

The Glasgow Coma Scale helps first responders determine a patient’s condition so he or she receives appropriate treatment. Severe and moderate brain injuries are the most likely to cause long-term damage, but the reality is that any type of brain injury has the potential to cause lasting damage. Any brain injury can result in cognitive impairment, memory problems, and permanent neurological damage.

Proper use of the Glasgow Coma Scale can help to ensure that a patient receives appropriate treatment for a brain injury in a timely manner. It is also important for anyone who administers a Glasgow Coma Scale test to remember that other factors like pre-existing medical conditions, shock, and drug and/or alcohol use can influence test results. Medical professionals can administer a separate Glasgow Coma Scale test to children who do not have the same motor and verbal capabilities as adults.

Posted by highrank at 6:55 pm

What Is Post-Concussion Syndrome?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when a force causes the brain to move inside the skull cavity, striking the insides of the skull. The brain essentially floats within the skull, and any traumatic impact or blow to the head can cause the brain to shift violently within this fluid. After the brain strikes the inside of the skull, the victim experiences a concussion, and the symptoms vary greatly from person to person.

A concussion may result in a brief period of unconsciousness, disorientation, and confusion. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to noise and light, headache, nausea, sensory confusion, and a host of other symptoms. The immediate effects of a concussion may only appear to last a few hours to a few days, but one of the most troubling aspects of concussions is their tendency to cause long-term problems, including post-concussion syndrome. In the event you or somebody you love sustained head injuries caused by the negligence of another party, speak with a Bakersfield brain injury attorney as soon as possible.

What Are the Symptoms of Post Concussion Syndrome?

An individual who experiences a concussion will be more susceptible to concussions in the future, and he or she may also develop post-concussion syndrome. The symptoms of this condition differ for every individual, so a physician may diagnose a patient as having post-concussion syndrome in one of many ways. Some of the most common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping
  • Lapses in memory and/or diminished short-term memory
  • Fatigue, apathy, and symptoms of depression
  • Noticeable personality changes

A physician may look for three or more of these symptoms to diagnose a patient with post-concussion syndrome, and additional screenings such as CT scans and MRIs may help accurately diagnose a patient.

Prognosis for Post-Concussion Syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome has physical and psychological effects, making it difficult to treat in some patients. Rest is generally the most recommended treatment for a concussion, but this may exacerbate the psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome like depression, anxiety, and restlessness. Most patients who experience post-concussion syndrome make full recoveries within three months, but some cases can last a year or longer.

No one-size-fits-all approach to treating post-concussion syndrome is available, as the symptoms differ for every person who experiences it. Physicians must develop individualized treatment plans to address the physical and psychological symptoms of post-concussion syndrome for the best recovery experience.

Individuals who experience concussions and the symptoms of post-concussion syndrome should take care to prevent subsequent concussions in the future. Individuals who experience a second or third concussion generally report more severe symptoms, and repeat concussions are more likely to cause long-term damage.

Risk Factors for Concussions

Two of the most common causes of concussions in the United States are motor vehicle accidents and sports injuries. Motor vehicle accidents continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental injury and death in the U.S., and many people who survive serious car accidents sustain concussions. Many contact sports are prevalent in American life as well.

Football, hockey, basketball, soccer, and many other sports carry risks of causing concussions from collisions with other players, falls to the ground, blows to the head from equipment, and many other potential hazards. Athletes, especially younger athletes still in school, should take care to follow their sports’ safety regulations and wear appropriate equipment to prevent concussions.

While you can never predict the actions of other drivers on the road, you can use good judgment to do your part to prevent motor vehicle accidents and limit your risk of injury if an accident happens. Always wear a seatbelt while driving or riding as a passenger and drive defensively. Refrain from speeding and aggressive driving and use extra caution in high-risk areas like construction zones, heavy merging areas, and busy city streets. It’s possible to sustain a concussion from even a mild fender-bender, so safe driving is a great way to prevent these injuries

Posted by highrank at 9:25 pm

What Is an Acquired Brain Injury?

Monday, August 21, 2017

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is any damage or trauma the brain sustains after birth, for non-congenital reasons. ABIs include traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when the brain sustains sudden physical damage, as in a blow to the head or a puncture wound like a gunshot. A non-traumatic brain injury, on the other hand, can happen from infection, illness, brain tumors, or loss of oxygen or blood to the brain. ABIs are common in many accidents, including car accidents, slip and falls, and accidental drowning.

Causes and Effects of ABIs

Acquired brain injuries can occur as a result of catastrophic accidents or illnesses. Traumatic brain injuries are a leading cause of death and permanent disability in the U.S., accounting for about 30% of all injury deaths. People who survive traumatic ABIs often live with the effects for days, weeks, or the rest of their lives. No two brain injuries are the same. Each victim will suffer different symptoms and short- or long-term effects. Effects may include:

  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Persistent headaches
  • Fatigue and/or insomnia
  • Tremors or seizures
  • Physical disabilities
  • Trouble with speech
  • Sensory disorders
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Behavioral changes
  • Permanent disability
  • Coma and/or brain death

Falls were the leading cause of acquired brain injuries in 2013, the most recent year data available. Falls caused more than half (54%) of TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths among children up to 14 years of age. The second-leading cause of ABIs was objects striking the head, followed by motor vehicle crashes. Data shows that risk of sustaining a TBI is highest in people 75 years and older.

Who Is Liable for an Acquired Brain Injury?

Sometimes, there is a party at fault for causing someone else’s acquired brain injury. Many types of personal injury claim have involved ABIs, including those relating to medical practice, premises liability, product liability, and negligence. Talk to a Bakersfield brain injury attorney to find out if you have grounds to file a lawsuit after sustaining an ABI at home, at work, or on the road. Potentially liable parties could include:

  • An individual. If a driver, an independently contracted doctor, a property owner, criminal, or a coworker caused your injury, you could bring a claim against him or her as an individual. Often, however, individuals may not have the means to pay an award. A lawyer will look for other parties, including insurance companies, who may also be liable.
  • A company. If an on-duty employee caused your injury, you could have a claim against his or her employer. You may also have a product liability claim against a manufacturing company if a defective product caused your ABI. All businesses have insurance that may step in to pay your award should you have a successful case.
  • The city. The Bakersfiled government could be liable for your ABI if you sustained the injury because of a government employee, while riding in a city-owned vehicle, or because of a defect on a city-owned property. It is possible to sue the government in California, but strict rules apply. Speak to an attorney for help.

Every ABI case is unique. There is often more than one defendant liable for causing someone’s acquired brain injury, traumatic or non-traumatic. While you may not be able to sue if a brain tumor or illness caused your injury, you may have a case if your injuries happened in a preventable accident. Speak to an accomplished Bakersfield personal injury lawyer to learn more about your particular claim.

Posted by highrank at 9:55 pm