When someone sustains a traumatic brain injury, it might not always be immediately apparent that the injury is severe and could potentially pose a major health risk. For this reason, it is critical to visit your healthcare provider if you suspect you suffered a traumatic brain injury, even if you have yet to encounter any symptoms.
Why is it so crucial to seek medical assistance? Lots of complications and medical problems can arise from a traumatic brain injury, many of which can impact your well-being in irreparable ways or even result in death. Below are some of the most common complications associated with traumatic brain injuries:
- Fever and infection: It is quite common for a person to develop an infection after suffering a brain injury. Of course, the first sign of an infection is typically a fever, which will often begin in the lungs or the bladder. A doctor will likely order a urinalysis to test the patient’s urine, in addition to an x-ray of the chest, in order to determine the location of the infection. Infections are not the only brain injury complications that can lead to a fever, however, which is why it is critical for anyone who believes they sustained a brain injury to have a doctor examine them as soon as possible.
- Blood clots: Clots or deep venous thrombosis (DVT) form in the limbs and occur in about 40% of all patients with brain injuries. This is a serious complication since they can break off from the blood vessels and travel to the lungs, resulting in either severe damage or death. Those who are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury are often watched closely for DVT and are sometimes prescribed blood thinners to reduce the risk of this potentially fatal complication.
- Seizures: The risk of seizures is high in patients who suffer traumatic brain injuries, especially if it was a penetrating injury. The symptoms of this complication depend on the area of the brain that was affected. For example, if the injury occurred in the area of the brain that controls movement of one of the patient’s arms, that particular arm would twitch and shake. That said, seizures do not necessarily have to involve movement. This complication can also cause abnormal sensations in the body and even a change in mental function. When a patient experiences more than one seizure, anti-epileptic medications will likely be prescribed and are often necessary for at least 6 months.
- Hydrocephalus: This is a condition that occurs when fluid builds up in the hollow spaces of a person’s brain, which can squeeze the rest of the brain, resulting in subtle symptoms, such as a change in a patient’s level of arousal. A doctor will likely order a CT scan if he or she suspects that a patient is suffering from hydrocephalus.
- Heterotopic ossification: About 10% to 20% of individuals who sustain a traumatic brain injury will suffer from this condition. It is the formation of extra bone in the body, which causes pain, swelling, inflammation, and tightening of the joint. Treatment for this condition includes range of motion exercises, bracing or splinting, medications, and surgery.
- Spasticity: After suffering a brain injury, it is not uncommon to experience problems with muscle tightening. This is a painful condition that prevents the use of certain body parts and can interfere with conducting everyday activities. Stretching, range of motion exercises, splinting or bracing, and medication is often necessary to treat spasticity.
Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in Atlanta
If you sustained a traumatic brain injury as a result of another party’s negligent actions, it is critical that you seek skilled legal assistance as soon as possible to ensure you are able to secure the compensation you deserve and need to get back on your feet. At Pratt Clay, LLC, our team of catastrophic injury attorneys is prepared to fight on your behalf and hold the responsible party accountable.