Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are notoriously hard to understand and difficult to treat.
Part of the reason is that experts note that no two TBIs are exactly the same. Every patient sees variations in the extent of the injury, the location, the symptoms and many other factors.
This can make it hard to learn about TBIs. While researchers can study something like a broken arm and learn things that will apply to the next broken arm they see, studying a TBI doesn’t always give them information that will accurately apply to the next TBI.
Another issue is that a TBI can keep getting worse. While many other injuries are as bad as they’ll get as soon as they happen, the TBI may actually not be as problematic when a patient first comes in as it will be days or even weeks later. Brain scans have shown how the injury can get worse as time goes by.
For instance, one expert pointed out that most TBIs are considered “mild” when they first happen, saying around 80 percent fell into this category. The real severity of the injury may not even show itself accurately on a brain scan. Over time, new complications and symptoms can show up, but, at that point, it could be harder for medical professionals to treat the injury than if they’d just known how bad it was from the beginning.
By no means are these all of the reasons that TBI cases are complicated, but they do help show some of the challenges that medical professionals and patients face. Those who are injured could have a very long road to recovery, and they must know if they have a right to financial compensation.
Source: University of Southern California, “The possible long-term complications of traumatic brain injury,” Beth Newcomb, June 20, 2017