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Traumatic Brain Injury: Long-Term Effects


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a term that is being used more and more these days--in sports, on the news, in conversation. While it might seem like it's another term for "concussion," traumatic brain injury actually encompasses longer-term symptoms and effects of a hit to the head. TBI is a serious medical condition that can have lasting effects that dramatically impact a person's life. A concussion is a mild classification of TBI.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury is caused by an outside force impacting the head or body and damaging the tissue of the brain. Symptoms following TBI can include:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache 
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of memory and concentration

TBI can be classified as mild (also known as concussion), moderate, or severe. The most common way to grade TBI is by using the Glasgow Coma Scale, which rates a patient with a score between 3 and 15 based on eye response, verbal response, and motor response. The lower the score, the more severe the injury. 

TBI has gotten a lot of attention in recent years, and with good reason. It affects young and old alike, and it can have long-lasting or even fatal effects. In 2013, TBI was diagnosed in 282,000 hospitalizations, 2.5 million visits to the ER, and unfortunately, nearly 50,000 deaths. A recent study of the brains of over 200 football players found that 99% of them had some amount of traumatic brain injury

How Does TBI Change Your Life?

In addition to the immediate symptoms of TBI, long-term effects can persist for months or even years following the injury. They can include:

  • Seizures
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Premature death

Experiencing multiple TBIs increases the risk of long-term consequences. Repeated concussions can even be fatal if they occur close enough together--within hours, days, or even weeks.

Treatment and recovery can be a long and costly process as well. Research shows that the lifetime cost of TBI can range from $85,000 to $3 million. Beyond the medical costs, most patients with TBI cannot work for one to three months following their injury. 

If you have suffered traumatic brain injury, you are potentially facing a long period of recovery and high costs both in money and lost time. Depending on the nature of your accident, you may have cause for a personal injury case. Mitch Dugan and the attorneys at Dugan & Associates have years of experience with personal injury law, and we are ready to talk to you about your experience. Contact us online or give us a call at 888-9-9-D-U-G-A-N today for a free consultation.

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