The victim of a persona injury accident can suffer a virtually endless variety of injuries. Some of those injuries are relatively minor while others are sever, even life-threatening. A traumatic brain injury, despite the name, can also be considered mild, moderate, or severe. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or you are the caretaker of someone who has, you may need to know how traumatic brain injury severity is determined.
Your brain is housed inside your skull as a way of protecting your brain from injury. Under normal circumstances, your skull is relatively strong and can handle a significant amount of injury before your brain is impacted. If, however, an injury is severe enough it can damage your brain. A traumatic brain injury is just that – an injury to your brain caused by a blow to the head or by the penetration of an object through the skull and into the brain, such as a bullet. A mild TBI caused temporary dysfunction of brain cells; however, a moderate to severe injury can cause permanent damage to the brain as a result of pressure, swelling, and/or bleeding in the brain.
Because damage to the brain cannot be repaired it is critical that a TBI be recognized and evaluated immediately when a victim has suffered an injury. Toward that end, the Glasgow Coma Scale, or GCS, was developed as a way for healthcare workers to determine the severity of a head injury as rapidly as possible. The GCS uses a 15 point system based on an evaluation of a patient’s eye movement, verbal communication, and motor skills. The higher a patient scores the less severe the injury to the brain. A score of 13 or higher and the patient is considered to have suffered a minor TBI. A patient who scores an 8 or 9 through 12 is considered to have suffered a moderate TBI. Whether a moderate injury starts at and 8 or a 9 remains controversial. A score below an 8 or a 9 is considered to be a sign that the patient has suffered a severe TBI.
Along with the Glasgow Coma Scale, the amount of time a patient is unconscious is also considered when determining the severity of a brain injury. As a general rule, a loss of consciousness for more than 6 hours indicates a severe brain injury.
Although there is no way to reverse damage to the brain it is possible to prevent further damage if a victim is evaluated immediately following an injury. Because symptoms of a TBI are often not obvious, victims may not seek immediate treatment, only to find out later that additional damage occurred because of the lack of immediate treatment. Always have a thorough evaluation done anytime a victim has suffered even what appears to be a slight injury to the head.
If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury, or you are the caretaker of someone who has, and the injury was caused by an accident that you believe was the result of negligence on the part of another party you may be entitled to compensation from the negligent party for the injuries. Contact the Louisiana personal injury attorneys at Broussard & Hart, LLC by calling 866-281-4774 to schedule your appointment today.