Traumatic brain injuries can severely change the life of Chicago accident victims and their families.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can lead to a variety of complications. Serious brain injuries that occur after a car accident, a slip and fall, or a sporting accident can increase the victim’s risk of developing debilitating permanent brain damage. In this post, our Chicago attorneys will discuss common complications associated with TBIs.
Complications That Arise after a Traumatic Brain Injury
Some symptoms of TBI may show up immediately after the head trauma, but in some cases, the effects of a brain injury may become evident days or even weeks after the accident. Some of the complications arising out of traumatic brain injuries are:
A person suffering from a severe head injury risks permanent changes in consciousness. Altered consciousness can manifest as:
- Coma – A coma occurs when there is widespread damage to all parts of the brain. People in a coma are completely unaware of their surroundings and do not respond to any stimulus. There is generally no telling how long a coma will last.
- Vegetative state – Similar to a coma, a person in a vegetative state will be unaware of their surroundings, but may be able to show signs of movement, sounds and respond to reflexes.
- Minimally conscious state – Minimally conscious state is considered as a transition from a coma or a vegetative state to recovery. A person has limited awareness but with a severely altered consciousness.
- Locked-in syndrome – This state indicates that a person although aware of his surroundings, is not able to move. Locked-in syndrome is most commonly found in victims who experience a stroke in the lower brain.
- Brain death – Complete inactivity of the brain and brain stem is called brain death. It in an irreversible state and a person declared brain dead is generally taken off life support systems to allow natural death due to heart failure.
People with a head trauma can experience seizures, either just after the injury, or a few days after the injury. At times, seizures can recur, progressing to epilepsy.
Brain trauma can cause cerebrospinal fluid to build up in parts of the brain causing swelling and pressure build-up. This can increase complications that can further lead to a number of other disorders.
Penetrating TBI’s can expose the delicate inner tissues of the brain leading to infections. Infection of meninges (the protective brain tissue), a condition known as meningitis, can occur.
Blood Vessel Damage
TBI’s can damage the small and large blood vessels causing them to rupture, leading to build-up of blood in the brain that adds pressure and causes swelling of the brain tissue. Such damage can lead to strokes and blood clots.
TBI’s can cause injury to the cranial nerves. Any injury to the cranial nerve can result in a host of conditions like paralysis of facial muscles, loss of vision, double vision, loss of sense of smell, difficulty in swallowing, etc.
Cognitive, Communicative, Emotional and Behavioral Problems
TBI’s can lead to cognitive, communicative, emotional and behavioral dysfunction. Problems with memory, learning, concentration, problem-solving, multitasking, inability to communicate, difficulty in understanding written or spoken language, lack of self-control, outbursts, social inhibitions, depression, anxiety, irritability, and anger are only some of the possible outcomes of TBI.
Degenerative Brain Diseases
TBI’s can cause gradual degradation of the brain cells causing diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Dementia pugilistic.