Recovering From a Traumatic Brain Injury
Brain injury and trauma is a topic of immediate concern for anyone whose loved one has experienced a TBI (traumatic brain injury). TBI is medical jargon that refers to any head or brain injuries or bruising. If you or a loved one have experienced a TBI because of someone else’s negligence, contact a Las Vegas brain injury attorney at McDonald Worley today.
After centuries of trying to understand the human brain, it still remains a mystery. In fact, professionals say that we, as human beings, know more about the ocean and its deepest parts that we do the brain. This is because the brain is a sophisticated and complex organ. Today, experts are trying to understand the way it copes with injuries and healing.
The million-dollar question is: how long to it take for one to recover from a traumatic brain injury? Sadly, there is no definite answer to this question. Some people will achieve total recovery within the shortest time possible, while others need more time to recover. Some do not recover at all. However, this does not mean that recovery is purely speculative. Medical professionals today know which factors increase the likelihood of recovery, what things can influence the rate of healing, and how the brain progresses from one stage of recovery to the next.
How Does the Brain Recover?
A human brain has two main ways it heals itself after a serious brain injury. These include:
- Repairing damaged brain cells or growing new ones
- Rewiring brain connections – This generally involves using new pathways as a substitution for broken brain connections, which develop using different neurological processes like diaschisis, behavioral substitutions, and so on.
Brain ‘rewiring’ accounts for a majority of recoveries after a serious accident or brain injury. That is because the brain’s ability to regenerate is somehow limited. Also, recovery may be facilitated through specific medical procedures like surgery, physical therapy, and other methods.
Brain Recovery Indicators
Doctors avoid making predictions about a patient’s prospect for recovery because the healing process varies from one case to the next. There are no clear criteria for determining who will recover and who will not. All that doctors can do is give hope to all parties that things are going to be alright. Although, there are few factors that a doctor may look at that will suggest a greater likelihood of recovery. These may include:
- Shorter coma duration
- The patient’s age (often between 2 to 60 years)
- Shorter post-traumatic amnesia
Additional factors that may suggest quicker brain recovery:
- High quality and long term rehabilitation care
- The overall health of the patient
- Avoiding all kinds of stress
- Friends and family support
- A patient’s positive attitude
The Stages of Brain Recovery
In a nutshell, TBI recovery is most significant during the first six months after the injury. On the other hand, patients who experienced significant recovery time may take months and sometimes years from the date of the injury to heal. Below are the stages of brain recovery:
- Coma Stage: – This is a stage where a patient is completely unconscious and is unable to speak, perceive, or respond. This is a critical and early recovery stage.
- Vegetative Stage: – This is where a patient is still unconscious but in a sleep-wake cycle. Under this stage, nurses and family members may begin to observe reflexes such as opening eyes (which may not be a response to specific stimuli), finger movement, and other small movements. It is important to note that some experts do not recognize the vegetative state as a stage of recovery.
- The Minimally Conscious State: – This is a stage where a patient slowly begins to regain consciousness (briefly, in most cases). The patient may start to regain perceptions and the ability to respond to stimuli. Some patients may be able to begin speaking and even answering questions and following instructions.
- The Full Consciousness Stage: – This is a stage where a patient has fully emerged from unconsciousness. Under this stage, the patient will begin to show rapid signs of improvement each day. However, the patient may still experience profound difficulties with memory, such as an inability to remember certain issues or even individual family members or surroundings. The medical term for this stage is post-traumatic amnesia and occurs intermittently through early recovery.
- The Adaptation Stage: – This is a stage where a patient is forced to learn and adapt to new limitations they may have. This may be physical, emotional, social, or mental limitations. During this time, family, friend, and caregiver support is extremely important as the patient is required to learn to live their life differently.
The progression from one stage or state to the next is not always progressive or linear, as one may think. A patient may linger at one stage and never progress to the next. There are some who skip one or multiple stages. Others may show early signs of improvement or progression and then suddenly regress. Because of the uncertainty regarding traumatic brain injuries, medical experts are hoping that someday they will be able to develop a more precise approach when it comes to brain treatment and the time it takes to recover.
If your injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, the time it takes to recover can impact the compensation you can recover. Speak with a Las Vegas brain injury attorney to learn more about the factors that impact compensation in a claim like this.
Statistics on TBI Recovery
The information below is based on a collaboration paper by the MSKTC (Model System Knowledge Translation Center) and Drs. Thomas Novack, Ph.D., and Tamara Bushnik, Ph.D. It was discovered that:
• 25% of people experienced major depression after TBI (either as a result of the accident or significant life changes experienced)
• 90% of patients live in private homes instead of a skilled nursing facility after two years from the date of the accident.
• About half of the patients living alone before the accident will return to living alone within two years of the injury.
• At least 30% of the patients who suffered TBI still require home-based assistance with certain tasks
• About 50% of people who suffered TBI can begin driving again within two years of the accident. However, sometimes with limitations, especially when it comes to long drives
• About 30% of the people who experience a moderate to severe TBI can return to work within the first two years.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Las Vegas Brain Injury Attorney Today
McDonald Worley is a personal injury law office in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our team of experienced and Nevada brain injury lawyers helps those who suffered a personal injury to seek the financial justice they need. We have worked with many TBI victims and their families. By contacting us, you will get to know more about your legal options.
We offer free initial consultation services to traumatic brain injury victims in Nevada. If you decide to hire our services, we will work on your case from the beginning to the end, allowing you to recover peacefully. Furthermore, we do not get paid unless we win the case. That is because we work on a contingency basis.
Remember, all personal injury claims in Nevada have a statute of limitations, so you need to get your case started quickly. Call today.