The number of patients who suffer a traumatic brain injury and survive has increased considerably in recent years. There are a variety of reasons for this. One is that more people are actually suffering massive head injuries and surviving the initial trauma and surgery. This is generally a result of the many injuries that occurred in the Global War on Terror and the major advances in military medicine. These advances have become part of the national standard of care in the United States in civilian injuries as well.
According to a recent news feature from KSL, a new study involving massive amounts of data seems to offer a good look into what has been the mystery of what goes on during the traumatic brain injury recovery period. One study author said that even though the average neurologist and neurological surgeon in the United States is very competent at treating traumatic brain injury patients, they have generally been operating in what researchers call a “black box.”
The black box refers to the hundreds of processes going during inpatient recovery for traumatic brain injury patients. Essentially, doctors and rehabilitation professionals are using the “kitchen sink” approach on these patients. That is, they are trying everything in the book and hoping something works and actually helps the patient recover. While there is often success during the inpatient rehabilitation process, nobody is really sure what exactly helped and what did not. The goal of the massive study was to examine what processes are actually having an effect and what processes are not, so rehab centers can actually focus on what techniques work. This, in turn, will make traumatic brain injury rehabilitation more efficient, which will yield greater results.
This large-scale study involved seven years of data from over 2,000 traumatic brain injury patients at 10 rehabilitation centers in the United States and Canada. One patient featured in the article was a banker from Salt Lake City. In addition to being a banker, he was an avid motorcycle rider. A few years ago, he was riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle when he began to experience the effects of food poisoning. He blacked out and ran off the highway. When he finally woke up, he was in the hospital, and it was two weeks after the accident. In addition to a broken leg and shattered knee, he suffered irreparable damage to the left hemisphere of his brain caused by his brained slamming into his skull upon impact.
As soon as he was up, he was sent to speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. He was given many assignments, tests and exercises to help him rewire his brain, so he can live as close to a normal life as possible. He said the speech therapy was particularly devastating. He would be shown a picture of a simple object, and he would struggle to say the name out loud. When he could not get one, he would often start crying.
This was a very frustrating, as were many other exercises. The purpose of this study is to determine which of these rehab techniques are actually working.
Rock Hill personal injury attorneys have dealt with many clients who have suffered from traumatic brain injury. Not only is the process an arduous journey for the patient, it is also a very expensive journey, and that is why future medial and rehabilitation expenses are often part of personal injury lawsuits.
Contact our Carolina personal injury lawyers at Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.
Researchers find hints on brain injury recovery in massive study, October 11, 2015, KSL, by Daphne Chen
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