Skiers: Testing for “Talk and Die” Brain Injuries Can Save Your Life

Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher may not be out of danger after a skiing accident caused a traumatic head injury, but the driver was fortunate to be found early—a major factor in surviving a skiing “talk and die” brain injury.

According to a recent study in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience, roughly one in every 40 cases of head injury documented over a 10-year period at an emergency room were of "talk-and-die" syndrome. This condition, which is believed to have caused the death of actress Natasha Richardson in 2009, is named for the patient’s feeling relatively well immediately after the accident only to and weaken and die soon after.

One of the more worrying aspects of "talk-and-die" syndrome is that accidents which cause them can appear relatively minor. Even if there is no damage to the outside of the head, the impact on the brain may be catastrophic—or even fatal—taking up to 48 hours for symptoms of any brain injury to appear.

It is vital that anyone who suffers head trauma after an accident seeks medical attention immediately. Doctors can use diagnostic tools to diagnose and treat "talk-and-die" syndrome if caught early, including:

  • X-rays or 3D scanners may be used to detect lesions (bleeding) in the brain.
  • Drugs or surgery may ease rising pressure between the brain and skull.
  • Therapeutic hypothermia can lower a patient's body temperature and reduce swelling.
  • An induced coma can effectively switch the brain off from sounds, light and other stimuli that use vital oxygen, allowing the brain to rest and heal.

If someone you love recently suffered a head injury, please share this article with them as soon as possible to get them the treatment they need. You can also find out more about compensation for traumatic brain injuries in Louisville by calling Gray and White today at 888-450-4456.

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