The rash of retirements that shook up the N.F.L. last year brought the topic of concussions and brain injury into the public’s attention. Many of these players were still in the prime of their careers and their decisions were preemptive. A link between football related head injury and brain damage has been actively debated for years. As much as the subject has been in the news and discussed, most people, however, are either misinformed or have only a cursory understanding of brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs when an external force disrupts brain functioning. TBI can occur after a single incident or as a result of repetitive trauma, as is the case, it is believed, with football players and other athletes. Although TBI has been frequently associated with athletic sports, particularly football, the highest incidence of TBI occurs outside of sports. Injuries sustained from motor vehicle accidents, especially whiplash, as well as slip and falls in the workplace account for the majority of TBI cases.
The prevalence of TBI outside of sports is inarguably a glaring fact, and one that should be soundly heeded. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention every year approximately 1.5 million people in the United States suffer a brain injury. The University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Brain Injury and Repair determined that brain injury is the leading cause of death/ disability for people under 45 years old and that a brain injury occurs every 15 seconds. Approximately 5.5 million people are struggling every day with a disability caused by TBI.
Also, part of the complexity of TBI is its elusive nature. Symptoms, after an accident, an injury, or exposure to noxious chemicals may not surface until days, even weeks, after the incident. Additionally, the injured person in light of his/ her injury may be impaired in their thinking and unable to adequately assess their own health. This makes it imperative for the injured person’s caregiver/ loved-one to be cognizant of symptoms indicative of TBI. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, dizziness and confusion, clumsiness, fatigue, changes in mood or personality, heightened emotions, sadness and depression.
The sooner the diagnosis the better will be chances of a full recovery. Not all the test that are generally administered subsequent to an accident or injury are able to survey the full extent of the brain. The right tests need to be given at the right time. When the brain is involved, any and all delay is consequential. TBI is medically complex and its proper care and treatment demands a medical specialist who is intimately familiar with this type of injury/ condition.
If a TBI is the result of negligence of any kind, a lawsuit and/ or legal proceedings will follow. A lawsuit involving TBI demands a legal professional who is conversant with the issue and who will obtain maximum success while safeguarding the physical and emotional well being of his or her client. Once an injury to you or a loved one occurs the most prudent response is to contact a physician who specializes in this area of medicine. Also, for all your legal needs, it’s imperative to contact an attorney who possesses both the knowledge and compassion to guide you through this very difficult process.
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Call Pasquale E. Bianculli, Esquire PC personal injury law firm in Philadelphia at (215) 339-5222 for a free confidential consultation.
(Photo from Associated Press)