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As highly experienced Pensacola brain injury lawyers, the legal professionals of Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon understand the immense suffering this injury can cause to victims and their families. This is why they are committed to helping brain injury victims hold those who caused their injuries financially responsible.

In addition, they assist brain injury victims’ families in obtaining reliable information about brain damage, available treatments and support groups. Explore the paragraphs below to learn more, or contact a catastrophic injury attorney today.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is generally defined as sudden trauma to the head that disrupts the function of the brain, thus causing short or long-term problems with cognitive, psychological and physical abilities. The level of brain injury may range from mild to severe, with severe cases often leading to lifelong consequences, coma, or death. In addition, moderate and severe brain injuries may increase the risk of epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or other devastating brain illnesses. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, 1.4 million individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury each year.

The effects of brain damage vary in both severity and type. However, most types of brain injuries fall into two categories: closed head injury and open (penetrating) head injury. A closed head injury is trauma in which the brain is injured as a result of a blow or sudden violent motion. Closed head injuries can be diffuse, meaning they affect cells and tissues throughout the brain, or focal, in which case the damage occurs in one area of the brain.

Unlike closed head injury, open head injury results when an object penetrates the skull, thus damaging brain tissue. Penetrating head injuries, which are generally focal, are much more serious than closed head injuries. In fact, many open head injuries lead to permanent disability, coma or death. (Reference)

The most common factors that lead to brain injury include military combat, motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, sports injuries, slips and falls, violent crimes, playground accidents, child abuse and/or birth trauma.

Primary and Secondary Brain Injury

A large percentage of Pensacola brain injury victims who die are not killed immediately but suffer for some time before succumbing to secondary injuries. Primary brain injury is brain damage that occurs at the moment of trauma, when tissues and blood vessels are stretched, compressed and/or torn.

Primary brain injury can lead to secondary injury, which is a complex set of processes that occur in minutes, hours and, in some cases, days following the initial injury. These secondary processes can dramatically worsen the damage and account for the greatest number of TBI deaths.

While most moderate to severe brain injuries are often self-evident, mild TBI can be difficult to detect until the individual begins to show symptoms, at which point medical attention is essential in preventing permanent disability. The most common methods of brain injury diagnosis include a detailed neurological examination, brain imaging such as X-rays, CAT scans and MRIs and a cognitive evaluation by a neuropsychologist.

Following an initial diagnosis, it is necessary to undergo further testing, which helps identify the specific problems caused by the brain injury. These tests are often performed by physical, occupational and speech therapists.

Brain Injury Treatment

Traumatic brain injury treatment greatly depends on the level of severity. However, all patients undergo initial treatment, which aims at stabilizing the injury to prevent further brain damage. The key factors during initial treatment include closely monitoring and responding to any changes in vital signs, preventing hypoxia (oxygen deficit to the brain) and controlling blood pressure. Individuals who suffer severe TBI often undergo acute initial treatment, which includes life support and/or surgical intervention.

The next phase of TBI treatment, also known as primary injury treatment, focuses on addressing the structural damage to the brain and managing intracranial pressure (ICP). ICP is often caused by swollen brain tissue, which can interfere with blood flow to the head and lead to severe secondary injuries.

Following primary treatment, the Pensacola brain injury patient is closely examined and may undergo a series of medical and neurological tests that help medical practitioners detect and develop an effective treatment plan in prevention and management of conditions that may lead to secondary injuries.

Once physical injuries are stabilized, TBI patients enter the recovery phase, which includes rehabilitation. The most effective rehabilitation programs are individually tailored in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and emotional support.

Brain Injury Rehabilitation

For millions of TBI patients in the United States, recovery is a life-long process. In addition to physical and/or cognitive injuries, patients and their families often undergo extensive emotional changes that can be made easier through the assistance of TBI organizations and support groups. In fact, support groups offer unique assistance, helping TBI patients build advocacy and self-care skills and learn to accept and live with their condition.

Contact a Pensacola Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney

If you or your loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of another’s negligence and/or a violent act, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your medical bills, rehabilitation and any future medical care. The Pensacola, Florida brain injury lawyers at Emmanuel, Sheppard & Condon have dedicated their careers to seeking justice for their clients. To learn more about your legal rights, please contact their office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer.