Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability among Americans. TBI kills 50,000 people per year and it is estimated that over 5 million Americans are afflicted with TBI-related health problems. TBI most commonly occurs from traffic or sports accidents and falls. In any personal injury case involving definite or potential trauma to the head, the possibility of brain injury must be explored
According to the Brain Injury Association web site, symptoms of brain injury indicating possible long-term or permanent brain damage include:
â€¢ Loss of consciousness;
â€¢ Dilated or unequal size of pupils;
â€¢ Vision changes
â€¢ Dizziness, balance problems;
â€¢ Respiratory failure;
â€¢ Coma or semi-comatose state;
â€¢ Paralysis, difficulty moving body parts, weakness, poor coordination;
â€¢ Slow pulse, and slow breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure;
â€¢ Ringing in the ears, or changes in ability to hear;
â€¢ Difficulty with thinking skills;
â€¢ Inappropriate emotional responses;
â€¢ Difficulty speaking, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing;
â€¢ Body numbness or tingling.
The immediate and lasting physical effects of TBI are only the tip of the iceberg–sometimes victims, and therefore their doctors, do not make a causal connection between a head injury and the behavioral and/or physical symptoms exhibited after the trauma. It is important to realize that post-TBI symptoms are quite broad and do not always appear at the exact site of the impact or immediately after the incident. Therefore consultation with doctors and therapy, not just cognitive and physical but also behavioral and psychological, must continue well past the time of the injury since its effects can extend beyond the physical and include depression or other mental illnesses, such as paranoia, decreased cognitive functioning and impaired social and personal interactions.