New tool could help determine extent of damage from brain injury

On behalf of Stephen G. Nagle & Associates posted in Brain Injuries on Thursday, March 9, 2017.

Researchers out of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina have developed a tool that aids in determining the extent of brain injury when other factors, most notably advanced age, need to be taken into account.

How does the tool work? This “tool” is a compilation of a review of the patient’s “age, gender, and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS),” according to a recent report by Science Daily.

The GCS provides the patient with a grade based on his or her responses to eye, verbal and motor skill tests.

Although researchers admit that this is not the first test designed to determine recovery from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), it is unique as it focuses on the TBI alone – separate from other injuries.

Why is this tool important? TBIs peak at two different periods in our lives. First, when we are young adults ranging in age from 15 to 24, then again as seniors over the age of 75.

As such, this tool is important to aid in conversations between physicians and loved ones of the injured senior.

What can the tool tell patients and loved ones about the TBI? The tool is touted to provide health care professionals with the ability to discuss the likelihood of a return to independence after an elderly patient suffers a TBI. The results can help guide this discussion and increase the likelihood of a positive resolution for both the victim and his or her loved ones.

Are these tests expenses? Unfortunately, any form of medical care can become costly. As a result, those who suffer a TBI due to another’s negligence are wise to hold the negligent party responsible through a personal injury suit. This lawsuit can lead to monetary awards that can help cover the costs of treatments like the one discussed above.

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

3 ways a traumatic brain injury can happen on the job

On behalf of Stephen G. Nagle & Associates posted in brain injuries on Thursday, September 15, 2016.

When you’re at work, you are likely so focused on your duties that getting hurt on the job is not at the forefront of your mind. You know each job carries its own risks, and you probably knew some of the risks of your particular job going in. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, can happen to workers more than you might initially think. There are approximately 1.7 million traumatic brain injury deaths, hospitalizations and emergency department visits every year in the U.S.

Even if you work in a setting where you rarely think of hazards that could hurt you, like an office setting, it’s been noted that falling is the second leading cause of TBI, according to the Brain Injury Society. Simply tripping down the hall as you’re walking to your cubicle and falling, or slipping in the cafeteria over a spilled drink, can cause TBI.

Because of their nature, some job industries carry a higher risk of traumatic brain injury if you are injured at work. These industries include:

Falling

While motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of traumatic brain injury, falls are the second leading cause. This cause is also statistically climbing. Some have said it may be due to the age of workers – the number of workers over 65 has increased by more than 100 percent in the last 30 years. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), traumatic brain injuries at work were due to falls 29 percent of the time. Motor vehicle accidents were the cause 31 percent of the time.

Driving
Truck accidents are more likely than a regular motor vehicle accident to cause a traumatic brain injury. If you drive machinery or equipment at work, machinery and equipment accidents are also ones that can cause TBI. Wearing protective gear when necessary and not driving while you are extremely tired or fatigued can help ensure your safety on the job. Minimizing your distractions while driving is also wise – as distracted driving, such as driving while talking on a cell phone, can increase your risk of getting into an accident.

Construction work

Contact with objects or equipment is the remaining reason why people suffer a TBI on the job. After motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults and violent acts, respectively, contact with objects and equipment makes up the cause of occupational TBI 18 percent of the time. Working in construction puts people at risk with hazardous objects and equipment that can cause an accident leaving the victim with TBI. Construction is the leading industry where TBI deaths occur, and the industry has the highest rate of traumatic brain injuries.

Within the construction industry, falls were the most common cause of injury. Common falls that can cause TBI include ones that happen on surfaces that are uneven, wet or have an out-of-place object. Many construction workers wear hard hats to protect themselves in case of a fall or an object falling on them. However, even when someone is wearing a hardhat, they can still suffer a TBI. A TBI can still happen in some work-related accidents where either the hardhat was damaged or inferior to begin with, or the work conditions would not allow the hardhat to protect the worker from injury, even if it was in good condition.

Your legal rights

You do not have to be moving at a high speed to suffer a traumatic brain injury. A TBI can happen when any kind of trauma to the head or neck causes your brain to bruise, bleed, tear or swell. If you suffered a TBI, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine who was at fault and help you prove someone else’s carelessness caused you to suffer.

Related Posts: Know the risks and signs of traumatic brain injuries