Thanks to round-the-clock media coverage of all things related to the National Football League, most people have heard the term "traumatic brain injury."
Here, they most likely heard the term referenced in stories about former players who suffered multiple concussions during their playing days and who are now bringing lawsuits against the league for the irreparable harm they've endured.
In light of this familiarity with the term traumatic brain injury -- or TBI -- it may perhaps be worthwhile to take a closer look at some basic background information to provide a more comprehensive understanding of this devastating condition and how its onset can so often be traced to the negligence of others.
According to the Mayo Clinic, a TBI can range in severity from mild -- which may cause temporary brain cell dysfunction -- to severe -- which may result in bleeding, bruising, tearing or other serious physical trauma to the brain.
Some of the more well-known causes of TBIs include violence, explosions/combat-related injuries and, of course, sports injuries. However, it's important to understand that TBIs regularly occur in both motor vehicle accidents and in slip, trip and falls.
Furthermore, the Mayo Clinic points out that the people most susceptible to TBIs include seniors (age 75 and older), young adults (15 to 24 years of age), and children (newborns to 4 years of age).
As outlined below, those who suffer moderate to severe TBIs can demonstrate a host of physical and mental symptoms. However, what stands to complicate what you would believe to be an otherwise straightforward diagnosis is that these symptoms can sometimes take days to manifest themselves.
While a complete listing of symptoms is clearly beyond the scope of a single blog post, some of the more noteworthy physical and cognitive symptoms of a TBI include:
- Unrelenting headache that may increase in severity
- Loss of coordination
- Numbness in the extremities
- Slurring of speech
We will continue to explore this important topic in future posts. In the meantime, those who suffered a serious head injury because of the negligent or reckless conduct of another should consider speaking with an experienced legal professional to learn about their options for pursuing justice.
Source: Mayo Clinic, "Traumatic brain injury," May 15, 2014