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Complications of Traumatic Brain Injury

This is part two a series of articles covering the topics of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), including brain injury symptoms, complications, and prevention. The Chicago personal injury trial lawyers at Morici Longo & Associates have experience in the representation of accident and brain injury victims whether they have been injured at work or are victims of personal injury.

Types of Complications

Complications of TBI can be acute, meaning immediate, or chronic, meaning long-lasting. In both cases, various complications can manifest that affect one’s perception, personality, and more.

Loss of Consciousness

In the acute phase of injury after an accident, one can be left comatose for days or weeks. However, loss of consciousness may not accompany a brain injury. Many victims of brain injuries do not lose consciousness at all, but instead experience an “altered state of consciousness.” In the most severe injuries, the brain can shut down, and the damage is irreversible. Once life support is removed, death follows.

Bleeding & Swelling

The effect of head trauma may cause the brain to bleed or swell. Minor swelling or bleeding can sometimes resolve itself, but in more serious circumstances can require surgery to relieve pressure on the brain caused by the bleeding or the accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid.

Memory Loss & Other Cognitive Problems

Cognitive functions, i.e. the ability to think, are often affected as a result of head trauma. Testing can identify changes in what are called “executive functions.” Those changes can present themselves as a diminished capacity for learning, reasoning, and/or attention. Individuals may have a hard time finding the correct words to express themselves, doing calculations, multitasking, or completing organizational tasks.

Many experience memory losses of past events. Others experience short term memory loss—they constantly forget their car keys, for instance. Some memory loss requires extensive notetaking or the keeping of detailed calendars.

Mood Swings & Personality Changes

Sadly, some TBI victims also experience behavioral changes. These may present as irritability, abusive behavior, or difficulty with self-control. These kinds of symptoms may be accompanied by emotional changes such as depression, anxiety, or anger.

Other Complications

Victims of traumatic brain injury commonly experience headaches, confusion, and difficulty concentrating.

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), balance problems, dizziness, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound are common complaints. Loss of sense of smell or taste and speech difficulties may also be reported.

What to Do Next

It is extremely rare for the victim of a brain injury to exhibit all these symptoms, but most people with TBI will experience several at least. It is extremely important to get medical attention immediately after any potential TBI—early intervention may be the difference between temporary and permanent disability. Most people who suffer a mild brain injury will recover in weeks to months, although they will remain subject to more serious brain damage with subsequent injuries or repetitive trauma. Sadly, some of these deficits do not improve and can permanently affect a person for the rest of their lives.

Just as prompt medical attention is a must in identifying and addressing any head injury so too is prompt legal advice. We at Morici Longo & Associates are experienced brain injury lawyers who have helped our clients deal with the often life-changing effects of TBI for over 20 years.

If you, your friends, family, or coworkers have suffered a head injury resulting in a serious concussion or other complications, contact us right away. Our Chicago traumatic brain injury attorneys are available online and by phone at (312) 779-0366.