Brain Injury FAQs
Q: What is the frequency of traumatic brain injuries in the United States?
A: The Brain Injury Association of America estimates the number of traumatic brain injuries in the United States to be 1.4 million each year. Of these 1.4 million injuries, 50,000 people die; 235,000 are hospitalized; and 1.1 million are treated and released from an emergency department.
Q: What is a concussion, and does suffering a concussion mean that I have suffered a permanent brain injury?
A: Medical literature consistently defines a “concussion” as a traumatically induced disruption of brain function. One common misconception is that the disruption of brain function must include a loss of consciousness. In truth, a loss of consciousness is not a necessary requirement for the diagnosis of a concussion. While the disruption of brain function certainly can include a loss of consciousness, medically accepted definitions of “concussion” also include a loss of memory for events immediately before or after the injury, and any alteration in mental state at the time of injury (such as feeling dazed, disoriented, or confused).
Fortunately, people who suffer a concussion do not necessarily suffer a permanent brain injury. In fact, most do not. Nevertheless, full recovery from a concussion can take many weeks, many months or even years. There is a growing body of medical research that has discovered repeated concussions can lead to severe brain damage, particularly in athletes.
Q: What are the symptoms of a subtle or mild brain injury?
A: Sometimes brain injuries are obvious — a person goes into a coma, experiences seizures, or has some other overt manifestations. Mild brain injuries, however, are often overlooked at the time of the injury. In large part, this is because a patient who has suffered a mild brain injury does not exhibit an overt injury such as a skull fracture or bleeding, and on many occasions does not even suffer a loss of consciousness. As a result, friends and family are often the people who notice changes in the injured person’s personality or physical condition, ultimately leading to the diagnosis. The signs and symptoms of a mild brain injury include changes in behavior, mental functioning and physical condition. Examples of behavioral changes include irritability, increased periods of frustration and anger, depression, and anxiety. Mental functioning difficulties include increased forgetfulness, loss of memory of certain events, concentration problems, and difficulty with processing and analyzing information in noisy situations or when asked to multi-task. Physical symptoms can include headaches, loss of balance, change in taste, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.
Please contact the Rubinstein Law Group today to schedule your free brain injury lawsuit consultation. Mr. Rubinstein serves clients in San Marcos, Carlsbad, Oceanside, Vista, and Escondido, California. Call (760) 804-2790 in Southern California. We can come to you.