Every year, approximately 50,000 people die from complications related to Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Year after year, car accidents are one of the leading causes and result in thousands of trips to the Emergency Room annually. If you have been injured in a car accident, it’s important to seek help immediately. Here are some facts about Traumatic Brain Injuries and car accidents that you should know.
1. Complications: Length and Severity
TBIs are variable in length and severity. While some individuals can recover in a few days, others may live with complications of a TBI for months, years, or the rest of their lives. Complications related to TBIs also vary greatly, from mild nausea and headache to severe personality changes, loss of vision, and poor coordination.
Car accidents are the second leading cause of TBIs, according to the CDC. Traumatic Brain Injury occurs when the victim experiences severe jerking or crashing into another object. This causes the brain to jolt inside the skull, which can lead to physical damage and cause a slew of health complications.
After a car accident, it’s normal to feel anxious or upset. However, this is not a reason to ignore other potentially alarming symptoms. These include nausea, vomiting, headache, confusion, mood changes, and loss of consciousness. If you have experienced any of these after a car accident, it’s critical to seek medical attention immediately. Anyone who experiences a loss of consciousness after a car accident should go to the Emergency Room immediately.
If you have received a diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury, the next logical question is “what are my treatment options?” These will vary depending on the type of TBI and the severity. In the case of a mild concussion, your doctor may simply recommend you rest, avoid bright lights and sounds, and stay close to a loved one to have them monitor your condition until you are recovered.
In the event that you experience a severe TBI, the treatment options can become more intense. Those experiencing a loss of coordination may require physical therapy or occupational therapy. Studies have shown that certain sound frequencies, played at varying intervals, can also help to heal brain injuries. This can assist the victim in moving forward toward a more manageable life. Your doctor will be able to provide the best treatment for your condition, so it’s important to stay in frequent contact with them.
5. Brain Changes
Cytokine, an inflammatory protein, is released during a TBI. This protein can cause a slew of issues including a decreased immune system, decreased cellular metabolism, and decreased ability for the brain to replenish old cells. When combined, these can lead to serious and even life-threatening changes within the brain and throughout the body. When this protein is released, it is critical to follow treatment advice to help reduce the swelling and minimize the long term effects of the TBI itself.
6. Financial Impact of TBI
This is where things can get hairy, and it’s up to your insurance to hammer out the details with the other driver’s insurance company. Oftentimes, insurance may cover a percentage of your hospital bills. After that, it will be up to you, your health insurance, or the other driver’s insurance, to cover the remainder. TBI treatment can become expensive (even in mild situations), which is why contacting your insurance right away is imperative to avoiding thousands of dollars in medical bills which could drive you into bankruptcy.
If you have been injured in a car accident, seek help immediately. Should you be diagnosed with a TBI, make sure you follow your doctor’s recommendations and only communicate with your insurance company or attorney regarding the situation at hand. Your doctor and treatment team will be able to work out a long term treatment plan to help you achieve your goals and move forward toward a healthy life.