What kind of Complications can I Expect after Suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury?

brain injuryA traumatic brain injury can be one of the most tragic injuries one can suffer. They are often a result from a trip or fall, car accident, or motorcycle accident. Unfortunately, these injuries can often result in permanent damage or death. Sometimes, however, one can also suffer temporary complications from their brain injury.

INTELLIGENCE PROBLEMS CAUSED BY TBI

After suffering a TBI, one can develop changes or problems in the way they think. The more severe the injury, the more problems they will have with the following:

  • Memory
  • Learning
  • Reasoning
  • Speed of mental processing
  • Judgment
  • Ability to focus
  • Problem solving
  • Multi-tasking
  • Organization
  • Decision making
  • Beginning and completing tasks

COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS CAUSED BY TBI

A victim of traumatic brain injury can also suffer from communication problems. These can make life very difficult for a victim of TBI:

  • Understanding speech or writing
  • Speaking or writing
  • Organizing thoughts and ideas
  • Following conversations
  • Turn taking or topic selection
  • Deciphering changes in pitch, tone or emphasis to signal emotions, attitudes or differences in meaning
  • Understanding non-verbal signals
  • Reading cues from listeners
  • Starting or stopping conversations

EMOTIONAL PROBLEMS CAUSED BY TBI

To further expand on the effect TBI can have on the brain, one’s emotions can also be effected. This can lead to very stressful days and cause many problems for the victim trying to get by in everyday life:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Lack of empathy for others
  • Anger
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in self-esteem

SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY IF I SUFFERED A TBI AS A RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT IN TAMPA?

A traumatic brain injury can have serious, life-altering consequences. Not only will time and money be spent on treating the initial injury, but also on rehabbing all the problems that can develop because of that injury. Quality of life will be greatly affected, from financial to emotional to intellectual. Often times, the accidents that cause these injuries are a result of negligence. If that is the case, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages suffered.

Dolman Law Group has an experienced team of brain injury attorneys that understand the hardships one goes through after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Our attorneys are up to date on the latest medical advances made in the field of brain study, and have access to the best network of doctors and technology used to test for brain injuries. Our attorneys are experienced in combating the insurance companies and defense lawyers in their weak attempts to discredit the severity of head injuries and their lasting effects. We have had clients who have suffered severe head injuries in accidents where blows to the head were not sustained.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident caused by negligence, and have suffered from any of the symptoms listed above, contact Dolman Law Group at 727-451-6900 for a free consultation. We will be happy to evaluate your case.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, Fl 33765
727-451-6900

http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/brain-injury/

 

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Types of Tests and Diagnosis used for TBIs

The immediate diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury is crucial to the victim’s future health. These injuries usually happen in situations where doctors or emergency responders are at least a few minutes away, each minute passing putting the victim at more risk. That is why there are multiple tests for traumatic brain injuries, ranging from ones that can be done at the scene of the accident to high-tech tests once the victim arrives at a hospital.

It is important to know and understand how and why such tests are performed to ensure that if you or a loved one has possibly suffered a TBI, you are being treated properly and promptly. If one has suffered a TBI and the injury is neglected either in time of diagnosis and treatment, or in proper testing, the negligent party may be held responsible.

TYPES OF TBI TESTS

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    Glasgow Coma Scale: the initial test for doctors or emergency responders to evaluate the severity of a brain injury. Eye response, verbal response, and motor response is graded on a 15-point scale. The lower the score, the more severe the injury. The higher the score, the less severe the injury.

  • CT Scan (computerized tomography): a CT scan can detect bleeding in the brain, skull fractures, hematomas, brain bruises, and the swelling of brain tissue. A CT scan uses multiple X-rays to put together a detailed look into the brain.
  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): Often used after the victim’s condition has stabilized, a MRI uses magnetic and radio waves to develop a high definition image of the brain.
  • Intracranial Pressure Monitor: a probe used to monitor the cranial pressure in a victim’s skull that is the result from brain swelling.

There are also a series of items a witness can observe about the accident or the state of the victim that will help first responders treat the injured person.

ITEMS TO OBSERVE/LOOK FOR WHEN A WITNESS TO A POSSIBLE TBI INJURY

  • How did the injury occur?
  • Did the person lose consciousness?
  • How long was the person unconscious?
  • Did you observe any other changes in alertness, speaking, coordination, or other signs of injury?
  • Where was the head or other parts of the body struck?
  • Can you provide any information about the source of the injury?
  • Was the person’s body whipped around or severely jarred?

CONTACT DOLMAN LAW GROUP

If you or a loved one suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of an accident, and believe the injury was improperly handled, you need to immediately contact the experienced team of brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group.

We are up to date on the best forms of testing and technology for the testing and treatment of TBIs, and will ensure that you received the proper care from medical staff. Our attorneys are available 24/7 for all of our client’s needs, and even provide personal cell phone numbers on their business cards. TBIs are serious and can greatly change the day to day life of victims who have suffered from them. This is why quick and proper care needs to administered to all potential victims. At Dolman Law Group, we make sure all negligent parties will be held responsible in the mistreatment of a TBI victim.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
727-451-6900

 

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NCAA FACING MULTIPLE CONCUSSION RELATED LAWSUITS

In the wake of the NFL’s $765 million concussion lawsuit settlement, the NCAA looks to be faced with a similar legal battle. The number of concussion-related lawsuits filed against the governing body for collegiate athletics moved to five last week when attorneys for former Kansas fullback Chris Powell filed suit in U.S. District Court in Western Missouri. The longest running of the five suits, filed in 2011 by former Michigan wide receiver Adrian Arrington, is currently in mediation.

The five lawsuits similarly allege that the NCAA lacked policies to protect and care for student athletes who suffered concussions or other head injuries, and also that it failed to educate student athletes about the potential consequences of brain injuries.

According to documents filed in the litigation, there were more than 29,000 concussions in NCAA-sanctioned sports between 2004 and 2009 – with the majority occurring in football. A recently as 2010, the NCAA didn’t have any stated concussion protocol for member schools to follow. In 2011, the NCAA required all schools to develop concussion management plans to outline how injured athletes should be evaluated, treated, managed, and allowed to return to play. Despite this requirement, individual schools were left to develop plans on their own and there was little, if any, oversight from the NCAA. In fact, NCAA medical director David Klossner admitted that the organization has largely failed to monitor whether schools have implemented concussion management plans and not a single NCAA member school has been sanctioned for failing to institute a plan to date.

Although the NFL settled its concussion lawsuit for hundreds of millions of dollars there were actually some mitigating factors that reduced the NFL’s liability in that suit. The same cannot be said for the NCAA as most would agree it owes a higher duty of care to student athletes than the NFL does to its players. For example, most of the plaintiffs in the NFL lawsuit were covered under a collective bargaining agreement negotiated on their behalf by the NFL Players Association. NCAA players have no such protection. Not to mention, NFL players are well compensated for their services and thus concussions are arguably a known job hazard. NCAA players on the other hand are not paid despite the NCAA profiting handsomely from their revenues, especially in college football. These realities make it more likely that the NCAA breached a duty of care it owed to college athletes and thus more likely that the NCAA will be making a large payout to former players in the near future.

The size of that payout will largely depend upon how many plaintiffs are involved in the suit. All suits filed thus far are seeking class action certification, but before any of the suits can proceed as a class action, the presiding judge must certify the class. The plaintiffs are seeking to define the class as “all former NCAA football players who sustained a concussion(s) or suffered concussion-like symptoms while playing football at an NCAA school, and who have, since ending their NCAA careers, developed chronic headaches, chronic dizziness or dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and/or other physical and mental problems as a result of the concussion(s) suffered while a player.”

Personal Injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are experienced and aggressive Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys who are often called upon by their colleagues to co-counsel head injury cases throughout the State of Florida. If our injury law attorneys can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to call us immediately for a free case evaluation and consultation. 727-451-6900. Please visit our website to learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/brain-injury/

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Sports Related Traumatic Brain Injury Continues

Well into the fourth quarter senior wide receiver Charles Youvella of Hopi High School in Flagstaff, Arizona fell hard on his head and collapsed a couple of plays later; he died Monday of traumatic brain injury. Thursday, Missouri high school football player Chad Stover also died; he was hospitalized with a brain injury since October. These deaths come at a time where head injuries in football are attracting attention at all levels of the sport.

The Institute of Medicine and National Research Council called for a national system to track sports related concussions and answer questions about youth concussion. The report said 250,000 people age 19 and younger were treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other sport or recreation related brain injured in the country in 2009. That was an increase from 150,000 in 2001.

Studies have shown that concussions are often not taken seriously and school-age athletes are encouraged and allowed to return to play before full recovery. This leaves them susceptible to more significant injury including traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to Barry P. Boden, MD, from the Orthopedic Center in Rockville, Md., and adjunct associate professor at the Uniform Services University of the Health Science in Bethesda, Md., high school football players have more than three times the risk of a catastrophic traumatic brain injury than their college peers.

A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force traumatically injures the brain. The force can compress or damage delicate brain tissue depending on what type of brain injury results. In addition to sports, causes can include falls, vehicle accidents and violence. Disabilities resulting from a TBI depend upon the severity of the injury, the location of the injury, and the age and general health of the individual. Some common disabilities include problems with cognition, sensory processing (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), communication, and behavior or mental health (depression, anxiety, personality changes, aggression, acting out, and social inappropriateness).

A person with a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Other symptoms of mild TBI include:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision or tired eyes
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • A change in sleep patterns
  • Behavioral or mood changes
  • Trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking.

A person with a moderate or severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but may also have a headache that gets worse or does not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, an inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes, slurred speech, weakness or numbness in the extremities, loss of coordination, and increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation.

Anyone with signs of moderate or severe TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. Because little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma, medical personnel try to stabilize an individual with TBI and focus on preventing further injury. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure.

If you or a loved one has sustained a blow to the head or a whiplash injury as a result of the negligence exhibited by an individual or corporation, it is important to be treated by a physician familiar with traumatic brain injury to determine whether an injury to the brain has actually occurred. A traumatic brain injury can have a pronounced effect on your quality of life including the ability to interact with loved ones and friends as well as the ability to work.

Personal Injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group are experienced and aggressive Florida traumatic brain injury attorneys who are often called upon by their colleagues to co-counsel head injury cases throughout the State of Florida. If our injury law attorneys can be of any further assistance, do not hesitate to call us immediately for a free case evaluation and consultation. 727-451-6900. Please visit our website to learn more about Traumatic Brain Injury http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/brain-injury/

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Quick Facts about Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury

Roughly 1.4 million people in the United States suffer a traumatic brain injury each year. About 75 percent of these are a minor traumatic brain injury, or mTBI. An mTBI may cause temporary change in mental status including confusion, an altered level of consciousness, or perceptual or behavioral impairments. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS), motor vehicle accidents and falls are responsible for most cases of mTBI. “Musculoskeletal injuries are often seen concurrently with some studies estimating that 50 percent of patients with orthopedic injuries also sustain a mTBI,” says lead study author Richard Uhl, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y.

Quick Facts About mTBI:

  • The Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control declared mTBI a public health issue and a silent epidemic.
  • Patients with multisystem trauma and mTBI are almost twice as likely as those with multisystem trauma alone to have persistent cognitive impairment and to report symptoms of depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
  • Patients with mTBI and lower extremity injuries are three times more likely to experience cognitive and behavioral difficulties at one year post-injury than those who sustain only lower extremity trauma.
  • When symptoms last for more than three months, a patient is said to have post-concussion syndrome, a disorder that can be associated with substantial financial, social and emotional issues.
  • Males from newborn to 4 years old are among the population most prone to suffering mTBI and have the highest rate of TBI-related emergency department visits.
  • Males are more likely than females in all age groups to sustain mTBI.

80 percent of patients who sustain an mTBI can be discharged from the hospital and will fully recover. Still, mTBI often goes undiagnosed because frequently symptoms do not become apparent until a patient resumes his or her everyday life. Part of the reason this happens is because a CT scan can come back normal even when a patient has an mTBI.

Up to 58 percent of patients will experience symptoms such as headache, fatigue, dizziness, anxiety, impaired cognition and memory deficits one month after injury. Up to 25 percent of those who suffer mTBI may have residual symptoms that sometimes lead to compromised function that can last for a year or more after the injury.

After an mTBI, patients are also at risk for Secondary Impact Syndrome (SIS) – sustaining a second concussion before symptoms of the initial concussion have healed, causing greater injury. According to study co-author and orthopedic surgeon Andrew Rosenbaum, MD, “second-impact syndrome can have devastating consequences, including rapid-onset swelling of the brain, worsening function of the brain, spinal cord, muscles or nerves, and instability of normal body functions.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider contacting an experienced attorney who has knowledge of brain injuries and could potentially assist you in getting compensation for any negligently caused injuries. Call today. (727)451-6900. For more information about TBI, please read about our practice http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/brain-injury/

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Second Impact Injury

As Ryne Dougherty stepped onto the practice field with his football teammates at Montclair High School in New Jersey on September 18, 2008, he was determined to prove to his coaches that he was ready to be a varsity player. Fifteen minutes into practice the junior linebacker, standing 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighing 180 pounds, joined in on the tackle of a varsity player. As the play ended and the other players returned to their positions, Ryne was still on his back, complaining that his head hurt. When the school’s athletic trainer arrived on scene Ryne told her “I am dizzy and have a headache.” Minutes later, Ryne was vomiting as well.

Some 25 days later Ryne was back on the field for a junior varsity game against New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco Prep. During a play in the first quarter Ryne was knocked on his back while attempting to make a tackle. After the play he was on the ground grabbing his head and clearly in pain. Although Ryne was able to get to his feet with the help of teammates, he collapsed before reaching the sideline and soon after fell into a coma. Ryne would die just two dies later.

In September of this year, the Montclair Board of Education agreed to pay Ryne’s family $2.8 million to settle a 2009 negligence lawsuit alleging that the school’s decision to let their son back on the field led to the 16-year-old’s death. Experts hired by Ryne’s family attribute his death to Second Impact Syndrome (SIS), an affliction that leaves its victims vulnerable to even the most minor blow to the head because the brain has yet to heal from a previous injury. Victims are almost always adolescents.

While this tragic story occurred outside of Florida, the issue of SIS and young athletes is especially relevant here in the Tampa Bay area where high school football is both highly competitive and popular. It is certainly a topic that young athletes and their parents would be wise to become more informed about what, including what SIS is and how it can be prevented.

SIS consists of two events. Typically, it involves an athlete suffering post-concussive symptoms following a head injury. If, within several weeks, the athlete returns to play and sustains a second head injury, cerebral swelling, brain herniation, and death can occur. While rare, SIS is especially devastating in that young, healthy patients can potentially die within a few minutes. Consequently, it is vital that physicians correctly diagnose concussion symptoms and counsel young patients and their parents when it is safe for the athlete to return to play. Unfortunately, in Ryne Dougherty’s case, a lack of oversight from both his own doctor and the school’s athletic trainer led to a preventable tragedy occurring.

So what can be done to prevent this from occurring again in the future? Doctors say that any athlete who still shows signs of concussion should not be allowed to return to play. Such signs include fatigue, headache, disorientation, nausea, vomiting, feeling “in a fog” or “slowed down”, as well as other differences from a patient’s baseline. The American Academy of Neurology has also released guidelines for the Management of Sport-Related Concussion. That being said, the difficulty lies in deciding the appropriate return to play when the athlete is completely asymptomatic. Parents, teachers, and coaches must observe the athlete closely. High school athletes, especially those with scholarship opportunities, will likely try and convince parents and coaches that they feel fine, in order to resume play sooner. If there are any doubts as to the severity of the injury, the patient or athlete should not be allowed to resume play.

If you or someone you know suffered a brain injury due to the failure of others to follow proper concussion guidelines it’s important to know what rights you have. You should consider contacting an attorney with experience handling brain injury cases who can help you evaluate whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. The qualified attorney’s at Dolman Law Group are here to help and can be reached at 727-451-6900. To read more about our practice please visit http://www.dolmanlaw.com/practice-area/brain-injury/

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The Role of the Neuropsychologist in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases

Over the past few years, Traumatic Brain Injuries have become a hotly contested issue in the sports, medical, and legal arenas.  As multi-million dollar sports-injury related lawsuits continue to gain attention in the media, medical and legal professionals continue to research how best to diagnose and prevent brain injuries.

At least 10 million TBIs serious enough to result in death or hospitalization occur annually. An estimated 57 people worldwide have been hospitalized with one or more TBISs, but the proportion living with TBI-related disability is not known.   In the US alone, an average of 1.4 million TBIs occur each year, including 1.1 million emergency department visits, 235,000 hospitalizations, and 50,000 death (as reported by US national data).  Those numbers actually underestimate the true burden of TBI, as they do not consider (1) the estimated 200,000 American with TBI treated yearly in outpatient settings, (2) TBIs treated in US military facilities worldwide, and (3) undiagnosed/misdiagnosed TBIs.  See here for more information on The Epidemiology and Impact of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The number of missed TBIs is a concern that is being aggressively addressed by doctors and researchers worldwide.   Although it is clear that most TBI patients suffer at least some acute cognitive difficulties, the nature and course of post-acute brain injury cognitive recovery remains an area of intense controversy.  Some cases of Mild TBI recover completely within the first three months, while others continue to report distressing symptoms for months or years post-injury. Frequently the complaints involve a constellation of physical, emotional, and cognitive symptoms collectively known as post-concussion syndrome (PCS).  Experts continue to argue over whether PCS is over diagnosed or underdiagnosed, but it is clear that proper diagnosis requires more than just diagnostic testing.

Diagnosis is where a neuropsychologist’s work in a TBI case begins.  Objective evidence of cognitive impairment is part of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-4th Edition (DSM-IV) diagnostic criteria for PCS (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).  Therefore, documenting neuropsychological deficits is an important tool used to help establish the validity of symptom complaints, particularly in the medical-legal arena.  Neuropsychologists are trained to observe, assess, and recognize the relationship between the anatomy and physiology of the human brain and a person’s behavior.  These experts can help clarify and organize the clinical observations made by a TBI victim’s physicians.  Such clarification is critical in determining whether an injured person has TBI and the severity of said injury.

It is important to note that not all Traumatic Brain Injuries are created equally.  Most physicians consider a concussion to be a mild Traumatic Brain Injury or mTBI.  However, severity of symptoms is extremely variable even in mild cases of TBI such as concussions.   Many believe that loss of consciousness is required in order to diagnose a concussion. In reality a concussion may cause a loss of or change in consciousness, Post-traumatic amnesia, or all of the above.  Some victims recover within a number of weeks showing minimal effects; others experience debilitating symptoms that persist for years.  It should also be notes that as the number of TBIs experienced over a lifetime increases, both the short term symptoms and the long-term (permanent) effects.  Neuropsychologists know how to recognize each of the signs of TBI and use said symptoms to diagnose and create treatment plans for victims.

Ultimately, any person who suffers a closed head injury should consult with several doctors to ensure that all of the symptoms are documented.  The role of the Neuropsychologist in such cases is to assist in diagnosis through the recognition and documentation of behavioral and psychological changes.  Injuries that are not obvious to the naked eye are substantially more difficult for juries to comprehend.  This makes the Neuropsychologist’s role absolutely critical if a TBI victim is attempting to recover damages for his or her injuries through a lawsuit.

If you or someone you love has suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, don’t go it alone.  Contact an experienced personally injury attorney to protect your legal rights.  Dolman Law Group is always here for you in the event of a catastrophic injury.  If you ever have questions about your rights, please contact us at 727-451-6900.  Stay up on current information about Traumatic Brain Injury at http://www.tampabaybraininjuryblog.com/

 

 

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Traumatic Brain Injuries and How Just Following The Guidelines Can Saves Lives

Dr. Jamshid Ghajar, president of the Brain Trauma Foundation said, “Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in young people. Developing evidence-based guidelines and putting them into practice to improve outcomes are key priorities for the Brain Trauma Foundation.” Recently, a study showed remarkable reduction in deaths attributed to TBI in New York State.

Researchers documented a reduction in deaths of patients hospitalized in New York State with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) between 2001 and 2009. The Brain Trauma Foundation, in collaboration with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, published “Guidelines for Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury” in 1986.

Researchers studied data from 22 trauma centers in New York State. Between 2001 and 2009, the drop in deaths at the trauma centers undeniably correlated to increased adherence to tenets of the Guidelines, particularly recommendations on monitoring of brain pressure and management of brain perfusion pressure.

As part of a quality improvement initiative supported by the New York State Department of Health, the Brain Trauma Foundation set up an online Internet database in 2001. The database contains data from pre-hospital sources, emergency departments, and intensive care units at 20 Level I and 2 Level II trauma centers in New York State.

With the database, known as TBI-trac®, trauma centers across the nation can upload data on patients with severe TBI. They are able to track adherence to the Guidelines. They can even test hypotheses that may lead to improvements in the Guidelines.

To track how effective the Guidelines have been in reducing the number of deaths due to severe TBI, Gerber examined data from the database for years 2001 through 2009, focusing on trends in adherence to the Guidelines. These trends were evaluated via data examination on intracranial pressure monitoring, nutritional intake, use of steroid medications, presence of systemic hypotension, and treatment of intracranial hypertension within the first 1 or 2 days of hospitalization.

Most remarkably, researchers examined changes in case fatality rates within 2 weeks after a severe TBI occurred. Studies reveal that approximately 85% of deaths from TBI occur during that time period.

The researchers saw a significant reduction in fatality rates from 22% to 13% over the 9-year period. There were signs that adherence to the Guidelines significantly increased over time, with use of intracranial pressure monitoring rising from 56% to 75% and adherence to recommended cerebral perfusion pressure treatment thresholds improving from 15% to 48%! Support for recommendations on nutrition increased from 41% to 50% and the proportion of patients with elevated intracranial pressure dropped from 42% to 29%.

Following the Guidelines’ recommendations concerning avoidance of steroid medications was high throughout the time period, and hospital rates of systemic hypotension in patients with severe TBI remained low.

The researchers found intracranial hypertension rates and death in patients with severe TBI decreased significantly over the 9-years, and decreases were related to increased monitoring of intracranial pressure and management of cerebral perfusion pressure. It follows that these are two major recommendations of the Guidelines.

Gerber and colleagues conclude that strict adherence to the Guideline’s recommendations re increased monitoring of intracranial pressure and management of cerebral perfusion pressure improved outcomes in patients with severe TBI. It seems a mystery why the “Guidelines for Management of Severe Traumatic Brain Injury”, published by The Brain Trauma Foundation, in collaboration with the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, has not been followed more strictly across the nation. This new study shows that following the Guidelines saves lives. Hopefully, New York will be an example to Florida and the entire nation. Traumatic Brain Injuries often lead to death, and if following a set of Guidelines can save lives and decrease fatalities, then why not?

Perhaps doctors who do not follow such established and documented Guidelines should be held accountable for the results. In a time where more and more news reports and showing high school football players and car accident victims dying due to a traumatic brain injury, this study can hopefully shed some new light on how doctors should handle the treatment of those suffering from a TBI.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, consider contacting an experienced attorney who has knowledge of brain injuries and could potentially assist you in getting compensation for any negligently caused injuries. Call today. (727)451-6900. For more information about TBI, please stay tuned to http://www.tampabaybraininjuryblog.com/ for updated information.

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What Exactly is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can be caused by a wide range of incidents, such as; car accidents, falls, assaults, and being struck by an object to the skull. The brain is remarkably complex, and what could seem like a simple accident could have long-lasting effects. Generally, the brain can be damaged in one of two ways; by external injury, which would leave visible marks, or by internal injury, where the injury is not visible. External injury results when an object strikes the head or, in the alternative, the head strikes the object. Internal injury occurs when the brain moves violently within the skull cavity.

TBI ranges from mild to severe. Even though one common misconception is that a person needs to lose consciousness to sustain a TBI, this is not necessarily true. In cases of whiplash, the brain rapidly accelerates/decelerates within the skull cavity. This often results in impairment of the cerebral nerve cells and fibers.  Car accidents, roller coaster or amusement park rides, during sport activities, or by being punched or shaken are leading causes of whiplash. The damage sustained can be microscopic, leaving modern technology, such as CT scans or MRI scans, incapable of visualizing or diagnosing the injury.

Instead, trained physicians diagnose their patients using the modified Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). The GCS is a neurological scale that objectively measures a person’s conscious state following a head injury. It specifically assesses a person’s eye, verbal and motor responses in order to determine the severity of head trauma.

Common symptoms of mild TBI may include: headaches, dizziness, loss of balance, nausea, mood changes, memory or concentration problems, sensitivity to light or sound, blurred vision, fatigue, difficulty sleeping or sleeping more than usual.

Currently, insurance companies rely on outdated “junk science” to defend against TBI claims. Instead of accepting the diagnosis provided by trained physicians that utilize the modified GCS neurological scale, they instead ask courts and juries to rely on common misconceptions that modern science has debunked, such as: the CT scan or MRI scan did not show visible damage therefore brain injury did not occur, a person must lose consciousness in order to sustain a brain injury, or insurance companies hire doctors that rely on limited facts and ignore an abundance of evidence, such as the circumstances of the head injury and the TBI symptoms affecting a person that manifests subsequent to the incident.

Fortunately, research continues that will lead to further awareness, diagnosis and treatment. The NFL and the Defense Department actively contribute to research efforts in mild traumatic brain injury. Additionally, the Obama Administration recently proposed $110 million in funding to further human brain research. Through these efforts, continued research, and the expertise of experienced brain injury attorneys, insurance companies will have a more difficult time hanging their hats on common misconceptions and antiquated science.

For more information on TBI’s and head trauma, call the the brain impairment attorneys of the Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation.

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President Obama Promises $100 million to Brain Injury Research

In a promising sign for victims of traumatic brain injury, President Obama has announced a new brain mapping project that will fund research into the areas of Alzheimer’s, autism, stroke, and closed head injury. The project will allot $100 million dollars toward brain research and job creation. In support of this project, President Obama says, “As humans we can identify galaxies light-years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom, but we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears.”

The BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies), will attempt to record the electrical activity of each individual cell of the brain and the neural circuits that connect those cells. The $100 million will go to several different federal and private research institutes to fund the development of new technologies that will help spur the brain mapping project, as well as studying the ethical and legal repercussions of the project. The research is expected to start on the brains of small animals like flies, worms and mice before moving on to the more complex human brain.

The BRAIN Initiative is receiving praise from many neuroscientists and researchers across the country. Scientific Director and CEO of the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience David Fitzpatrick, calls the project “spectacular.” According to him, “We need this fundamental understanding of neuronal circuits, their structures, their function and their development in order to make progress on these disorders.”

Not everyone is as enthusiastic about the BRAIN Initiative however. University of California-Berkeley fruit-fly expert Michael Eisen criticizes the project as being far too ambitions, claiming that such scientific innovations are not the result of “centralized bureaucratic projects, but rather from individual labs.”

Other critics of the project focus more on its economic impact; $100 million is a lot of money for a government currently in a national sequester, cutting $85 million in government spending. In response to these critics, President Obama focuses on the hundreds of jobs that will be created in the research and implementation of the BRAIN Initiative. President Obama also cites the former success of the Human Genome Project, stating “Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy  – every dollar.”

We have previously blogged about traumatic brain injuries and the difficulties involved in both the diagnosis and treatment of these injuries. While the causes of these injuries are generally understood, they can be extremely difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of symptoms the victim may suffer. Traumatic brain injury symptoms can range from obvious physical signs such as leaking spinal fluid from the nose or ears, to “hidden” symptoms like tearing of the brain tissue or blood vessels in the brain. Victims of traumatic brain injury may also suffer serious emotional impact as a result of the injury, such as severe depression, difficulty focusing or remembering, or a lack of impulse control. These emotional effects of traumatic brain injury have been cited as contributing factors in the recent suicides of former NFL player Junior Seau and country music start Mindy McCready.

Overall, it seems that President Obama’s BRAIN Initiative is a huge step in the right direction to understanding the causes and treatments of traumatic brain injuries and other previously misunderstood diseases of the brain. Hopefully this project will result in a deeper understanding of the “three pounds of matter that sits between our ears,” and benefit victims of all types of brain injuries and diseases.

For more information on traumatic brain injury, or if you or someone you know is currently suffering from a traumatic brain injury as the result of someone else’s negligence, contact the experienced brain injury law attorneys at Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation. 727-451-6900.

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