Brain injuries: Complicated and long-lasting

One of the most complicated injuries is brain trauma and it can leave people with life-long problems.

Brain trauma is a common occurrence with car accidents that happen in the Kansas City area, and it can range from a mild concussion to a traumatic brain injury. A brain injury is also more complex than other types of injuries, with the possibility of generating symptoms and other issues through a lifetime.

Symptoms do not always appear right away

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that symptoms related to brain trauma are not always immediate. In fact, they may not surface until someone tries to return to work or engage in their normal activities. Others may not appear until months later. These symptoms can include the following:

  • Problems controlling emotions
  • Focusing on work or tasks is difficult
  • Sleeping problems such as insomnia or constant fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble thinking

Additionally, people with a brain injury may start experiencing anxiety or depression. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, three out of every 10 people who have a brain injury will experience depression. Symptoms may be as subtle as eating changes, sleeping changes or even having no desire to do things that they usually enjoy. Depression can happen years after the initial injury; doctors cannot currently predict this timeline.

No real treatment available

One of the challenges that doctors face is that there is no known treatment that can repair the damage caused to the brain. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that focus is placed on preventing additional damage. The medical care may include computed tomography scans, a medically-induced coma and monitoring of vital systems to make sure that patients remain stabilized.

If there are no life-threatening risks present, then the only thing that doctors can do is advise rest and medication for headaches. Symptoms are treated on an appearance basis. For example, if someone starts having issues with depression, then the treatment may consist of working with a psychologist or taking pharmaceutical drugs to relieve the symptoms.

Long-term prognosis unknown

Unlike a broken bone, which generally heals in six to eight weeks, there is no prognosis that can be made for the long-term outcome of someone with a brain injury. Doctors will try to be optimistic, but they cannot guarantee when, or if, a person will ever fully recover. Therapies may help bring back some abilities but there may be other symptoms that will never go away. For example, people may always struggle with trouble speaking or may experience moments where their brain just isn't working the way it used to. Additionally, research has tied brain trauma to an increased risk for other health conditions later on in life such as Parkinson's disease, stroke and the onset of dementia.

A motor vehicle accident can turn people's lives upside down in Missouri. An attorney may be able to help them seek appropriate compensation for their pain and suffering.

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