Intensive Care Treatment May Be Needed For TBI Victims
Many individuals who are diagnosed with either moderate or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) must remain in the hospital in the intensive care unit (ICU). This is especially the case if the TBI victim is in a coma or another state of unconsciousness. Time in the ICU can be stressful, especially since patients in this area are often in critical condition. The ICU can involve a significant amount of medical equipment, including tubes and machine, and often limited visitation due to health concerns.
The primary goals in the ICU are to stabilize the patient and to minimize the chances of future medical crises. Stabilization may many different types of equipment, including the following:
- Ventilator or Respirator – Doctors may insert a ventilator1—called intubation—for a TBI patient who does not currently have the ability to breathe on their own. The ventilator can ensure they receive adequate oxygen until they have regained the brain functioning to resume independent breathing.
- Nasogastric tube – If a brain injury victim cannot swallow on their own, a tube may be inserted in the mouth or nose, through the esophagus, and down into the stomach to deliver nutrients and medications.
- Catheter – Some victims of traumatic brain injury cannot control their bladder functions, especially if they are in a comatose state. A catheter collects and monitors urine output.
- Monitoring devices – Because of the often delicate state of TBI victims in the ICU, medical staff in this department will closely monitor a patients vital signs and condition to quickly identify and attend to any complications that may arise. Monitoring equipment can include an electrocardiogram (EKG) to keep track of heart rate, an intracranial pressure (ICP) monitor to track brain swelling, and a pulse oximeter to measure blood oxygen levels.
Not only does all of this equipment and monitoring make the ICU a high stress environment, but it also all comes at a significant cost. According to one study,2 the cost of a single day in the ICU can exceed $10,000, especially if ventilation is needed. Even relatively stable patients without the need for a ventilator can incur daily costs of more than $3,000.
Costs can continue to accrue as, once a TBI patient is released from the ICU, they will likely still have to stay in a regular hospital room for additional treatment and monitoring. Even after they are fully discharged, medical treatment for a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury can be ongoing for many months or years.
Losses associated with serious TBI
Whether or not you had to spend time in the intensive care unit, treatment for a TBI can be extraordinarily costly. In addition, the challenges of a brain injury can have many other impacts on your life other than simply your wallet. Many victims of severe traumatic brain injury are left with long-lasting cognitive and/or permanent impairments that can keep them from returning to work, school, or even everyday activities they once enjoyed. Thought the costs of ICU treatment can be a major loss, it will generally be in addition to the many other tangible and intangible losses you suffered.
If someone was negligent and caused your TBI, you have the legal right to seek compensation for all of your injury-related losses. While money cannot take away the physical and emotional pain and suffering of a serious brain injury and cannot restore your abilities, it can make recovery easier in the face of significant ICU and other medical bills and lost income.
Consult with an experienced Tampa brain injury attorney for free today
At the Dolman Law Group, our Tampa brain injury lawyers have experience representing the interests of victims with anywhere from mild concussions to severe and disabling brain injuries. No matter what caused your brain injury, it is always worth it to discuss possible financial recovery with an experienced member of our legal team. We will guide you through every step of the legal process from insurance claims to the courtroom, so please do not hesitate to call 727-451-6900 for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33756