Traumatic brain injury, also known as TBI, is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, particularly in individuals under the age of 45. When an individual sustains some sort of injury to their brain, the damage can be extensive or minor depending on the nature of the accident that caused the injury.
The sources of traumatic brain injury can vary widely, and the treatment options for injured individuals can be equally varied. In many cases, treatment can successfully restore an affected individual to the quality of life they knew before his or her accident.
Levels of Treatment for TBI
Some of the most important treatment that a traumatic brain injury victim will receive is the treatment that will take place at the scene of the accident. TBIs have the ability to worsen the longer they go untreated, so speed is a critical factor in treating brain injuries.
Paramedics, who are usually the first individuals on the scene of an accident, will meet the victim’s immediate needs, which typically includes:
- Restoring a proper oxygen supply
- Maintaining adequate blood flow
- Controlling blood pressure
Since there is the possibility of a spinal cord injury, the patient will usually be strapped to a back-board and put in a neck brace to prevent further injury to the brain or spinal cord. Once a victim is stabilized, they can be transported to a medical facility to receive more specialized treatment. In the hospital, they will check the patient’s:
- breathing rate
- pupil size and response to light
- level of consciousness
- neurological functioning
Lowering Intracranial Pressure
A common problem in individuals with traumatic brain injury is dangerously increased intracranial pressure. An important part of TBI treatment is monitoring the brain of an injured individual for increased intracranial pressure and alleviating this rise if it occurs. There are a number of procedures and treatment options available to help reduce intracranial pressure in TBI victims.
The patient may need surgery either as an emergency care option, corrective option, or preventative option. Brain surgery is required if they need to:
- remove blood from the skull cavity if there has been internal bleeding
- repair a skull fracture
- remove damaged tissue to make room for healthy brain tissue
In extreme cases where there is excess swelling or extensive tissue damage, a portion of the skull may be removed to release pressure. When the swelling of the brain subsides, the section of the skull will be replaced.
Minneapolis Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer
If you or someone you know has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, contact the Minneapolis brain injury lawyers of Terry, Slane & Ruohonen, P.L.L.C. today at 612-362-0000 to schedule a consultation. Our partners are experts in the field of traumatic brain injury cases, writing articles and lecturing on the subject — and winning many cases for the victims of TBI. Here is a synopsis of one of their cases:
Josh was hit, as a pedestrian, by a vehicle after Josh and the driver exchanged words. Josh was knocked to the ground and hit his head on another car and the pavement. He suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result. The driver left the scene and was turned in by the passenger a couple of days later. The driver accused the passenger of driving the vehicle but later plead guilty to an offense involving driving the vehicle. Josh spent four weeks in the hospital. A large piece of his skull was removed in order to receive special treatments in a hyperbaric chamber involving direct oxygen on his brain and then the piece was replaced a few weeks later. Josh experienced a remarkable recovery. He was left with only mild traumatic brain injury residuals. The case settled for a total of $600,000.