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Caring For A Loved One Following A Brain Injury

A closed head injury is a huge concern after any motorcycle or vehicle crash. Even minimal damage to a person’s brain can have major psychological, physical and cognitive consequences. Recognizing possible head injury symptoms is extremely important in the hours and days immediately following a hit to the head. Sometimes these symptoms are not noticeable to the injured person because of the cognitive deficiencies that a traumatic brain injury has caused.

It is very important for the people close to an accident victim to watch out for common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury. A list of the most common symptoms can be found here. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or vertigo
  • Loss of Inhibition or recognition of societal norms
  • Poor Concentration
  • Mood Swings
  • PTSD

Keeping an eye out for these symptoms or other obvious changes to your loved one’s behavior is extremely important for early diagnosis of a brain injury following an accident. Early diagnosis is essential to ensuring a person with TBI recovers quickly and without developing longer-lasting damage such as post-concussion syndrome (See here for the Mayo Clinic definition of PCS).

If someone close to you is suffering from a traumatic brain injury, you must also ensure that he or she limits activities to avoid any additional head trauma. It is extremely dangerous for a person with a primary closed head injury to endure any additional trauma to the brain. Second-impact syndrome is a term used to describe a situation where a person still suffering from the symptoms of a head injury sustains another one. This second impact to an already damaged brain can prove deadly, even if the hit to the head seems minimal.

Relationships can suffer greatly because of changes in personality of the injured victim, or the pressure that loss of physical/cognitive function puts on significant others. An individual who is healthy and young can be rendered completely helpless overnight, leaving the family left taking caring for the victim. Recovery is often possible, even sometimes in cases of moderate brain damage.

The key to making sure your loved one is safe and obtaining appropriate care following an accident is communication. Remember the list of symptoms and ask open-ended questions requiring that the person access their memories. If you are concerned that your loved one may be suffering from TBI, make sure to get them to a qualified medical professional to begin treatment and manage the symptoms.

Once treatment begins, it is essential to remember changes to your loved one’s personality are not always permanent. The strain on your relationship can lessen over time so long as you practice patience and communicate in a simple and strategic manner. Try to be patient with the person suffering from TBI and be as clear/basic as possible when communicating thoughts. Speak slowly and avoid distractions. Always try to remain positive and calm when communicating to keep your loved one encouraged about progressing.

Make sure that if you or someone you love suffers an impact to the head, you consult educated professionals to inform you of your legal rights and medical protocol. Closed head injuries such as diffuse axonal injury, skull fracture or a significant concussion may cause a lot of difficulty, pain and suffering to both the victim and the people closest to him or her. If you need advice about a TBI that you or someone close to you has suffered, please call me or any of the brain injury lawyers at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today. Never wait when it comes to a possible brain injury, seek medical attention as soon as possible.