After a traumatic brain injury (TBI), seeking medical treatment immediately can assist recovery and improve the outcome. As far as what the treatment process looks like, it can vary based on the severity of a TBI. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit in Fresno may help the victim recover damages associated with their injury and medical costs.
Treatment for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Even a mild TBI can have a significant impact on many areas of your life and may change the way you feel, act, move, and think. Victims often suffer from headaches, fatigue, memory problems, mood swings, and an inability to focus their thoughts. Since no two TBIs are the same, treatment for mild TBI can differ depending on symptoms and other unrelated medical issues. However, it often consists of:
A physical therapist to help with balance and movement problems.
An occupational therapist to help you function better at home and work.
Other medical experts to help with emotional and thinking problems.
Medications to ease symptoms such as pain relievers, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medicine, sleep aids, and muscle relaxants. Although medicines can help, they are not a central part of treatment.
Self-management is also critical since it can take weeks or months for most mild TBIs to heal completely. Unfortunately, for some, symptoms may continue for years. Examples of lifestyle changes that can help the brain recover include:
Leaning on friends and family for support.
Letting your healthcare team know about any new symptoms and write down any daily issues you have with concentration or memory.
Eating a healthy diet and drinking plenty of fluids.
Avoiding alcohol, drugs, and smoking.
Getting adequate sleep.
Not overexerting yourself.
Avoiding caffeine and energy drinks as a way to make you feel less tired.
Returning to normal activities but avoiding any that can cause another jolt or blow to the head.
Avoiding mental stress.
Although challenging, victims must be patient and give their brains enough time to heal.
Treatment for Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury
Moderate to severe TBIs require immediate emergency medical treatment. First, the extent of the injury must be assessed, and the medical team will focus on minimizing any secondary damage that can occur due to bleeding, inflammation, or reduced oxygen supply. A CT scan or MRI is often required to create a detailed view of the brain and its damage. From there, a physician can determine the course of treatment and whether surgery is needed. For example, surgery may be required for:
Relieving Pressure: Blood, swelling, and other things in the skull can increase pressure. In some cases, a hole must be surgically made in the skull to relieve pressure, or a shunt or a drain must be added to allow excess fluid to drain.
Skull Fractures: Removing debris, pieces of the skull or repairing severe fractures may be necessary.
Blood Clots or Pools: Large hematomas (clotted blood) can form if there is bleeding in the brain or between it and the skull. Hematomas can add pressure and damage brain tissue if they are not removed.
When moderate to severe TBI patients are admitted, they may be unconscious, in a coma, and/or medically unstable. If necessary, they may remain in the hospital’s Inpatient Intensive Care Unit (ICU) until they are stable. Patients will also likely be prescribed medications, such as pain relievers, anti-anxiety medications, anticoagulants to prevent blood clots, anticonvulsants to prevent seizures, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative-hypnotic agents for sleep or to depress the central nervous system, or stimulants to increase alertness.
What is the Rehabilitation Process?
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries often lead to long-term physical, cognitive, behavioral, and social impairments. As a result, rehabilitation is critical to preventing further disabilities and helping victims become as independent as possible. Rehabilitation will vary, as some TBI victims may need to relearn basic skills, such as talking or walking. In a rehabilitation hospital, victims will have a program designed specifically for their needs; over time, it will change as their needs change. Common types of treatment include:
Speech and language therapy
With time, victims may return to their state before the TBI, where others will require lifelong care. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact the Fresno brain injury attorneys at Freedman Law today.