You were so relieved when you heard the doctor say that your loved one would survive his head injury. But the next moment, your heart stopped: the doctor said that your relative may not be the same person he was before the accident—and he may need constant medical care for the rest of his life.
As horrible as it may sound, this is the explanation that awaits thousands of brain stem injury victims every year. The brain stem houses the body’s internal control center, and is responsible for regulating a person’s automatic functions (such as blinking and breathing). Depending on the extent of the injury, a victim may need assistance regulating his:
- Heart rate – Victims may need to have pacemakers installed to make their heart beat consistently or control their pulse rates.
- Breathing – Many patients will require the use of a respirator if they are unable to control their breathing.
- Consciousness – Brain stem injury victims may drift in and out of a conscious state for months after the injury occurs, requiring constant imaging tests to ensure the brain is healing normally.
- Memory – Victims often suffer memory lapses, impaired concentration and attention deficits. Cognitive and behavioral therapy can help put procedures in place to reduce the patient’s confusion and frustration.
- Sleep cycles – Patients may experience bouts of insomnia or constant fatigue that encourages long periods of unconsciousness. Many brain injury victims will benefit from medications that can regulate their sleeping patterns.
In addition to immediate trauma, victims may suffer additional complications as the brain responds to the injury. This can include brain swelling, hematoma, and loss of oxygen to the brain, all of which can cause irreversible brain damage if not treated quickly.
To find out if your relative could receive legal benefits for his injury, contact the Kentucky head injury attorneys at Gray and White for a FREE, one-on-one consultation. Call us today at 800.634.8767 or fill out the contact form on the top of this page to get started. Your call is free, and we charge you nothing unless we win your case.