Traumatic brain injury: Advances in diagnosis

On behalf of Stephen G. Nagle & Associates posted in brain injuries on Thursday, February 2, 2017.

Although traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are well-known, medical professionals continue to struggle with a simple method of diagnosis. Diagnosis is important, as it can play a role in holding those who cause these injuries financially accountable.

What exactly is a TBI? A TBI is generally defined in the medical field as “an acute brain injury resulting from mechanical energy to the head from external forces with loss of consciousness less than 30 minutes, posttraumatic amnesia less than 24 hours, and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) score of 13-15 after 30 minutes post-injury or on presentation for healthcare.”

How are TBIs diagnosed? At this time, medical professionals generally use the definition above to determine if a patient has suffered a TBI. Additional research is underway to develop a more concrete form of diagnosis.

One such method, recently discussed in an article in Medscape, involves measuring a protein released in the brain during an injury. If the research proves successful, the protein could be measured instead of using head CT or brain MRIs to aid in diagnosis, both of which can result in exposure to potentially dangerous radiation.

How common are TBIs? TBIs are likely more common than reported, and reports are staggering. There are 1.7 million people in the United States that visit emergency departments, are hospitalized or die due to TBIs every single year.

This number is likely inaccurate, as an additional 30 to 45 percent of victims of these injuries are estimated to never seek treatment from a healthcare provider.

Why is diagnosis important? TBIs can result from a number of different accidents, including bicycle accidents, car crashes and construction accidents. Having a diagnosis can help hold others responsible when these accidents are the result of another person’s negligent or reckless actions.

TBIs can result in additional medical care, rehabilitation costs and other expenses. By holding responsible parties accountable for their actions, victims can receive monetary awards to help cover these costs and others associated with these injuries.

Related Posts: New tool could help determine extent of damage from brain injuryWhy is the brain so susceptible to injury?When Crashes Cause TBIs in Children3 ways a traumatic brain injury can happen on the job