Every day in the United States, 153 people die from injuries that include a traumatic brain injury (TBI). From 2006–2013, the Centers for Disease Control reported that TBI-related visits to the emergency room increased by 47%. Despite the significant percentage increase, TBI’s often go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
The main reason for this is a combination of hectic conditions, busy doctors and the complex nature of brain injuries. Knowing what a brain injury is, reasons for misdiagnosis and the symptoms of brain injuries can save lives.
If you’ve suffered a brain injury because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to a personal injury settlement. Keep reading to understand how our South Dakota personal injury lawyers can help you.
Why Are Brain Injuries Undiagnosed?
The common first steps of an ER doctor in the case of possible brain damage is a medical interview and CT scans, which sometimes aren’t effective in diagnosing a brain injury. Another significant reason for misdiagnosis is that symptoms of brain injuries sometimes don’t show up for days after the incident. People who have suffered a hit to the head should not take an initial ER assessment as the final word. Often, if a patient is undiagnosed with a life-threatening brain injury, she may opt out of a follow-up medical appointment even if she’s suffering from symptoms of a brain injury. If you have any symptoms, it’s vital to get make a follow-up visit to a doctor.
The key to getting the proper diagnosis and care is to watch out for common symptoms.
Know the Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Brain injuries are serious and can cause death if left untreated. Even “mild” brain injuries can lead to life-long problems. The sooner a brain injury is treated, the better. Damage from the injury is difficult to reverse, but medical professionals can stabilize the patient enough to prevent further damage if treated in a timely manner. Even if you were NOT knocked unconscious, it is readily accepted that you can still have sustained a brain injury.
If you or a loved one has any of the following symptoms, regardless of already having gone to an ER, seek medical attention:
- Any vision changes (blurring, blindness, light sensitivity, etc)
- Coma or semi-comatose state (unresponsive state)
- Thin, clear fluid coming out of the ears or nose
- Loss of consciousness for any length of time
- Enlarged or unequal size of pupils
- Difficulty moving or feeling parts of the body; body numbness or tingling
- Change in cognitive abilities (difficulty “thinking straight”, memory problems, poor judgment, poor attention span, a slowed thought processing speed)
- Inappropriate emotional responses (irritability, easily frustrated, inappropriate crying or laughing)
- Problems balancing
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty speaking (slurred speech, difficulty swallowing)
- Poor coordination
- Slow and/or weak pulse
- Slow breathing rate, with an increase in blood pressure
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus) or any hearing changes or difficulties
- Lack of bowel or bladder control
When An Injury Happens Because of Someone’s Negligence
Brain injuries can happen in a variety of ways from getting personally injured in a car accident to suffering a fall at work to getting injured on a sports field. If you believe you have been a victim of someone else’s negligence resulting in a brain injury, contact a South Dakota brain injury attorney today to pursue a personal injury claim. You should consult an attorney as soon as possible to ensure you do not reach the personal injury claim time limit. Our attorneys can help you learn your options in your negligence case. Contact Turbak Law Office today at (866) 231-0914.