ER visits for brain injuries rise rapidly

Serious head injuries could be caused by many different factors, from car accidents to sports injuries. In Texas, where sports are a huge part of many residents' everyday lives, medical matters involving concussions have also seen increased awareness of the dangers involved. Once thought to be a relatively normal part of playing sports, concussions are now viewed as the potentially serious brain injuries that they are.

Recently, a new study has unveiled some important findings regarding brain injuries. Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in particular has made headlines in recent years as more awareness has been raised on the subject. From 2006 to 2010, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, emergency room visits for TBI jumped 30 percent. While this may sound troubling, the increase in ER visits are actually due to increased levels of public awareness.

Likewise, TBI carries many risks for further medical conditions, including dementia, stroke and even death. TBI is generally caused by either severe injury to a closed head or a physician error or medical mistake during a surgery. Following TBI, there can be neurological issues, physical functioning problems and psychological strain. Not surprisingly, then, the medical expenses that accompany a TBI diagnosis can be extremely overwhelming.

This recent TBI study emerged from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and found that there were about 138 million visits to the ER. Of these visits, 1.7 percent of patients were diagnosed with TBI. Interestingly, during that four-year period, the rate of visits for TBI rose almost 8 times higher than the overall rate of ER visits. According to the Brain Injury Association of America, over a million people suffer TBI every year.

With any brain trauma, the long-term effects can either stem from the original injury itself or the medical treatment received afterwards. The brain is an incredibly delicate area of the body and medical care must be extremely precise. It's not uncommon for treatment errors to make matters worse instead of better.

Thankfully, there are legal resources available in Texas for those who have been negatively affected by a brain injury, when the injury itself or the worsening of it was caused by another's negligence. A personal injury suit could be filed in order to provide compensation to the victim of the brain injury. This could assist them with any associate financial hardships the incident caused, especially if they require future medical treatment.

Source: CBS News, "ER visits for traumatic brain injury spike 30 percent," Jessica Firger, May 13, 2014

Categories: Brain Injuries