People suffer approximately 5 million brain injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries or "tbi"s, in the U.S. every year and about 2 million of those result in permanent damage to the victim. Those injuries also equate to approximately 50,000 deaths and 235,000 in-patient hospital stays annually. Such injuries can be very costly to treat and are also very prevalent in certain fields, such as the military, so it is imperative that we focus on diagnosis and effective treatment to ensure best outcomes.
In cases of non-fatal brain injuries, trauma results in injury processes rather than a one time "event." The injury processes can result from primary lesions that cause "structural" damage to the brain, and secondary lesions that interfere with molecular mechanisms after the injury. That means early understanding of the full nature of the injury and the resulting symptoms and damages is critical in terms of treating and minimizing them.
A brain injured person often does not have visible external or physical injuries. In other words, a person can appear to be just fine physically when in reality, their cognitive processes and behaviors reveal a brain injury. Signs to look for include headaches, thinking difficulties, memory problems, attention deficits, mood swings and frustration. It is important to recognize these signs after a person is injured and when they are recognized, it is important to take advantage of available resources to help the injured and their families.
Since early intervention and intensive rehabilitation are critical factors when it comes to dealing with brain injuries, knowing where to find the resources that offer them is key. Here is a partial but helpful list:
- Brain Injury Association of America
- Brain Injury Association of Utah
- Brain Injury Resource Center
- Centre for Neuro Skills
- Traumatic Brain Injury Resource Center
- Brain Injury Resource Directory
If a brain injury is a possibility with you, a co-worker, a friend or family member, please dial into these resources and get help as early as possible.
Bret Hanna of Wrona DuBois in Utah, focuses exclusively on litigating plaintiffs’ medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, in mediations, and in administrative proceedings in Michigan and Utah since 1991.