If you were in a car accident and have a brain injury diagnosis, you are probably wondering what to expect during your lifetime. A traumatic brain injury can vary from a mild concussion to a severe injury that affects an individual physically, intellectually, emotionally and behaviorally.
A person who suffers from a severe TBI usually needs ongoing therapy to recover and resume daily activities. However, complete recovery is rare.
Consequences of severe brain injuries
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, a motor vehicle accident can result in a traumatic brain injury because the impact causes the head to move forward and backward quickly and aggressively. This can damage tissues and tear blood vessels in the brain. This causes immediate injury, but over time, the brain tissue may continue to experience destruction.
Physical symptoms that may result from a severe TBI include tremors, paralysis, poor balance, decreased motor movements and difficulties with coordination. Cognitive consequences may include memory problems, confusion, problem-solving issues, inability to follow directions and issues with judgment. Additional consequences may be communication, sensory, social and functional deficits as well as personality changes.
Treatment for TBIs
According to the Mayo Clinic, immediately after the accident, an individual suffering from severe brain injury will need emergency care to prevent further harm and monitor blood supply, blood pressure and oxygen. The medical team may prescribe medication to help limit secondary damage. Some individuals will also require surgery.
Once the patient stabilizes, there is usually the need for rehabilitation. For some, this may be temporary, while others may require it for years or even life. Examples of rehab specialists include physical therapists, speech therapists, vocational counselors, neuropsychologists, TBI nurse specialists, recreational therapists and social workers.