New York Brain Injury Attorney Explains How Concussion Injuries Can Lead to More Complicated Medical Conditions
While most of us were growing up, we often heard adults say that our high school football players and other athletes needed to avoid suffering any serious concussion injuries. However, since most of our young friends who incurred head trauma seemed to do fine afterwards – we mistakenly assumed that concussions rarely cause long-term difficulties explains Arkady Frekhtman, a New York brain injury attorney at the F&A accident law firm in Manhattan.
Today, our society is aware that nearly all head injuries must be taken seriously. Furthermore, nearly all of us are susceptible to suffering serious head injuries – either due to serious car accidents, construction site injuries – or even due to simple falls. What’s perhaps most striking is the connection now known between concussions and the possible later development of such serious conditions as Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).
New Concussion Research Tied to NFL Player Injuries
Much of what’s being learned today about concussions involves the long-term physical damages suffered by National Football League (NFL) players over the years. A core outline of the steps that have been taken to help these players is set forth in a comprehensive 2016 CNN story entitled, “NFL Concussion Fast Facts.”
Here’s a quick summary of the many difficulties people experience after suffering concussions and other forms of serious brain trauma. Additional information follows about various tests and treatment options that these individuals and their doctors must consider pursuing.
Defining Important Brain Injury Terms, Conditions, and Symptoms
- A concussion. This type of physical injury is suffered after a person receives some type of blow to the head – the degree of trauma may obviously vary. Most people do not lose consciousness upon suffering a concussion;
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). This refers to a degenerative brain disease that tends to develop after repeated brain injuries. During earlier decades, this type of injury was more often associated with boxers than with general sports athletes like today’s football players. Those suffering from CTE may experience different types of brain atrophy (wasting away of brain tissue) – or have other areas that become enlarged;
- Concussion and General Brain Injury These may vary due to the nature of the physical injury suffered, the patient’s health status at the time of the injury, the length of time over which the injuries were sustained, and the patient’s current stage of recovery. Common symptoms of concussions can include:
- Confusion, dazed feeling, disorientation to surroundings
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Problems with sleep – either trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision; ringing in the ears; loss of consciousness
- Difficulties with memory, concentration, mood changes, depression
Tests and Treatment Options Following Concussions and Other Brain Traumas
After any significant brain trauma or concussion, the injured party should always be fully evaluated in an emergency room. Numerous tests are likely to be run, including one or more of the following:
- The Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a question-and-answer test used with the injured party. It helps doctors evaluate the person’s ability to follow instructions and move various body parts;
- CT Scans. These are detailed X-rays taken of the brain. Doctors can use this information to locate such problems as bleeding in the brain, blood clots, brain swelling, and other difficulties;
- MRI scans. The powerful radio waves and magnets used in this test help doctors see the basic damage done to certain parts of the brain following injury.
These will obviously vary, depending on the patient’s current physical status and needs. Where there’s evidence of some type of seizure condition following a brain injury, anti-seizure drugs may be administered. Doctors will also consider administering specific types of diuretics if the brain tissues are swollen and pressure needs to be relieved. Under certain extreme conditions, even coma-inducing drugs may need to be administered.
Various types of surgeries may also be recommended for severe brain injuries that are worse than an average concussion. Initial tests will help determine the precise type of surgery required. Skull fractures may need to be addressed, blood clots (hematomas), and possibly opening the skull up to make other treatment options possible.
Long-term care is often required after the most traumatic brain injuries. Individuals may need to work with a wide variety of rehabilitation specialists.
Please be sure to contact your New York brain injury attorney right after you or a loved one suffers any type of serious concussion or other type of head trauma. Our legal experience allows us to prepare your case so you can fully recover for your medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and future medical needs.