What Happens Immediately After the Brain Injury?
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Accidents that cause trauma to the head can occur from various reasons such as a crash, assault, fall, or other things alike. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) means there was damage to brain tissue from a blow to the head. Mayfield Clinic defines a TBI as a brain injury due to a hit or forceful movement to the head, coming from penetrating or blunt trauma.
These types of injuries can cause ongoing chronic symptoms such as headaches and other ailments that can lower one’s quality of life. A Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can help you determine if you’re entitled to compensation for your injury.
According to Mayo Clinic, special attention must be given to head trauma that presents in combination with other symptoms of a concussion including nausea, headaches, difficulty concentrating, or loss of balance. These can indicate a serious head injury and must be immediately seen by emergency health professionals.
First Aid For Severe Head Trauma
If you suspect a person has suffered severe head trauma, immediately call 911 and stay by the patient’s side. Give priority to the following:
- Maintain the Person Still
Slightly elevate the person’s head and shoulder and help them to stay still and quiet until medical personnel arrives. Do not remove a helmet if the person is wearing one. The neck should not be moved to avoid spinal damage. The injured person should not move at all unless completely necessary.
- Tend to Continuous Bleeding
Check for bleeding wounds anywhere in the body and apply pressure to stop the blood loss.
Use a clean cloth or sterile gauze. Do not apply pressure to the head if you suspect there’s a fracture to the skull.
- Monitor the Patient’s Vital Signs
Check for regular breathing, pulse, alertness, and other signs of normal oxygen circulation.
What Occurs Immediately Following a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Two types of effects are seen immediately following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.
The first type of effect is when the brain reacts to trauma with a cascade of physiological and biochemical reactions that respond to assist the tissue. Secondary cell death occurs due to the destruction of brain cells by substances that are meant to be safely stored, but leak into inappropriate spaces after trauma.
The second effect type is when the person loses normal functioning. Loss of consciousness, changes in breathing, and disabled motor functions are seen. This is due to a more severe type of injury. It can last minutes or even extend for months leaving the patient in a severe coma.
Headway, the brain injury association describes a state of coma, loss of power in the limbs, and speech impairment as being the most evident signs of trauma.
Behavior and Symptoms After Regaining Consciousness
People who suffer severe injuries and are left in a coma may sometimes never regain consciousness. For example, if someone uses a defective product that causes him or her to go into a slight coma, a manufacturer can be liable for the injury. Even when the victim regains consciousness, various types of neurological symptoms can persist.
Initially, after the person regains consciousness, they may be disoriented and confused not knowing where they are or what happened. The ability to remember recent events may be greatly impaired or not there at all. The patient may display acts of aggression, irritability, and anxiety. It is a time to be surrounded by familiar faces and a comforting support system. Working with an injury lawyer can help the patient receive proper treatment and monetary compensation to aid in the rehabilitation process.
Regeneration of Neurons in the Brain
Unlike bones or muscles, tissue takes much longer to regenerate. Some areas of the brain may not heal completely and remain damaged for the rest of a person’s life. The individual must then adapt to new physical abilities and limitations.
Response of Brain Tissues After Trauma
There are common issues that arise after the brain suffers a serious injury. Here are some of the problems that appear the most:
- Intracranial Pressure Increases
Inflammation occurs immediately after an injury. It is the body’s response that triggers the healing process. The brain is not different. After an injury to the head, it fills with fluid and becomes swollen. Because the brain is encased in the hard bony skull, it doesn’t have enough room to expand and causes increased pressure in the area between the skull where there is intracranial fluid.
Prompt medical care after a TBI to decrease the intracranial pressure is crucial to prevent additional damage to tissue as well as to promote normal blood flow to all tissues.
Neurochemical imbalance disrupts activities of daily living. Our brains work well from maintaining the delicate chemical balance. The chemical substances that allow communication between neurons and cells in the central nervous system.
In a normal functioning state, the brain hosts chemical signals from neuron to neuron. Groups of neurons work together to perform certain functions. According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, approximately 60% of patients who suffer a brain injury will make a positive recovery, and an estimated 25% will have a moderate disability.
A traumatic brain injury disturbs the particular chemical balance so that neurons cannot function normally. This results in changes in thinking and behavior. It can take a long time for the brain to resolve the chemical imbalance that occurs with TBI. As the chemistry of the brain returns to normal, so can the person’s ability to function. This is one of the reasons that a patient can show significant improvement in their condition, in just a few weeks after an injury.
- Disruptions to Physiology Due to Problems in the Brain’s Chemical Balance
The human brain works properly when its delicate chemical balance is maintained. Neurotransmitters are chemical substances in the brain that allow communication between neurons, which are specialized cells of our central nervous system. Neurons work together to carry out a certain function of the body. When the brain’s chemistry is functioning normally, the chemical signals are transferred from neuron to neuron effectively.
When the brain’s precise chemical balance is thrown off, the neurons do not function properly resulting in behavioral changes and altered thought patterns. The patient can take weeks or even months to regain the chemical balance that happens after a traumatic brain injury. As the brain’s chemical balance returns to normal, so does the person’s functions.
Rehabilitation Brings Adaptation and Change
Every individual and injury must be treated with its own particular needs. A severe brain injury lawyer in Los Angeles can help and will guide you step by step and connect you to a network of professionals dedicated to your healing process. Outpatient therapies are key to conditioning the patient to return to normal activities. The body has an amazing ability to heal once we remove obstacles. As serious as a brain injury can be, there’s still hope for survivors to lead a fruitful life after the traumatic event. With consistency, a patient can make remarkable improvements to their quality of life.
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