Among the major causes of death in the United States, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are on the rise. A CDC study in 2014 revealed that the number of TBI-related cases that resulted in hospitalization, emergency room visits or death had risen 53%.
In 2014, over 50,000 people died from complications due to TBI. Though high, this number pales in comparison to the 2.87 million TBI-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Those who survive a TBI might suffer from severe complications.
Long and short-term effects of TBI
TBI occurs after an application of an external force to one’s head. Common types of TBI include concussions, contusions, injuries caused by the brain shifting, and penetrative injuries. Nearly half of all TBI-related injuries occur from falling, while car accidents cause around 20%. Seniors and children are the most susceptible to TBI and its complications.
Since each TBI is unique and the degree of damage varies, TBI can cause a wide array of mental and behavioral consequences. The short-term consequences of TBI are:
- Cognitive impairment
- Difficulty processing sensory information and communication
- Nerve injuries
- Cerebrospinal fluid leakage
TBI can also result in organ failure and polytrauma, which cover various cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, nerve injuries, and hormonal imbalances. Studies show that TBI victims have an increased metabolic rate that produces more heat in the brain. Brain swelling can occur that, combined with other complications, can result in Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, dementia, and epilepsy.
Victims of TBI may also experience psychiatric disorders:
- 96% experience increase agitation
- 70% experience cognitive disorders
- 61% experience depression
Instances of other disorders occur in less than 30% of TBI victims, including anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), phobias, panic disorders, OCD, mania, and even schizophrenia.
Legal protections for TBI victims
TBI is a very dangerous injury that can result in a wide array of physical and neurological disorders. Victims must receive the costly medical care they need to live full and happy lives. Those who have sustained TBI in an accident can reach out to a local attorney to assess the case and take legal action.