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Long Term Outcomes for Brain Injury May Be Better than Earlier Believed

A brain injury is one of the most devastating injuries a person can sustain.  Findings from new research could have an impact on doctors’ recommendations for life support for patients with TBI.  This means that persons with a serious brain injury may have much better long-term outcomes than previously expected.

A traumatic brain injury occurs as a result of trauma or a blow or jolt to the head. These injuries can occur in any number of ways, but the most common causes of traumatic brain injury are car and auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, falls, and assaults or violence.

The results of the new study focusing on brain injury were published in July in the journal Neurology. The researchers focused on 484 patients who suffered from moderate to severe traumatic brain injury. The researchers tracked the patients over a year, and found that over this time period, close to 25 percent of the patients recovered to a much greater extent than expected. For example, among patients who were in a vegetative state after the injury, as many as one in 4 were able to perform simply orientation tasks like recognizing themselves as well as identifying the date and their location with 12 months after the injury.

According to the researchers, many of the patients who were observed as part of the study showed significant improvement in their brain function after the injury with many recovering their independence as early as two weeks after the injury. In fact, about a year after the injury, some patients had no disability at all. Out of 62 patients with a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, all had recovered consciousness within a year after the injury, and at least 14 had recovered orientation, meaning they were able to identify themselves, place, the time and the situation.  These patients were also able to return home and perform their routine daily tasks, including eating and bathing.

For most patients with a traumatic brain injury, withdrawal of life support is a major cause of death. The research seems to suggest that the decision to withdraw life support should probably be delayed because the chances of recovery are significant.  In 2018, the American Academy of Neurology also recognized the growing improvements in recovery after a brain injury by suggesting that clinicians avoid telling families of persons hospitalized with a brain injury that their loved one’s case was beyond hope, within the first 28 days after the injury.

A traumatic brain injury can mean not just extensive periods of hospitalization, but also long-term medical costs, including occupational therapy, rehabilitation, medications as well as costs of any surgeries down the road. In addition, the victim can suffer a significant loss of income if the injury makes it impossible for him to return to his former job, impacting their families as well.

If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash, talk to an Atlanta car accident lawyer at the Katz Personal Injury Lawyers, and determine your legal options to a claim for damages. You may qualify for a claim that can help you recover damages for medical costs, loss of income, pain and suffering and other types of compensation.



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