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Complications of a traumatic brain injury


Falls, auto accidents and contact sports have one thing in common-they can all lead to brain injury. This type of harm is often considered a serious injury. Some symptoms immediately appear after a person sustains brain damage, while others experience sudden changes after a few days or weeks following the incident. It is important to understand that a brain injury can lead to serious complications such as altered consciousness.

Brain injury can affect a person's consciousness. After sustaining the injury, the person may fall into a coma or an unconscious state due to damage to the brain area. No one can tell when a person will emerge from coma. If that person regains consciousness, he or she may still not function correctly and may fall into a vegetative state. A person who is in vegetative state can make sounds, move and respond through reflexes even though that person is unaware of their surroundings. A vegetative state may be permanent, depending on the patient's condition. In many cases, patients who have fallen into a vegetative state were able to progress and enter a minimally conscious state.

In a minimally conscious state, the patient often shows signs of recovery. The patient may be able to gain awareness of their surroundings and may be able to respond more effectively compared with when that person was in a vegetative state. Another complication of a brain injury is locked-in syndrome. In such case, the person is aware of what is happening around them but is unable to move or speak to respond to other people. A patient who has locked-in syndrome state may respond through blinking or eye movement.

Recovering from a brain injury can be a long process. There is no guarantee that the person with such an injury can return to a normal life. The family of the patient has to make adjustments at home so the injured patient can have a life as close to pre-injury as possible. If a brain injury is the result of another's negligence, then a lawsuit may help a victim and his or her family recover the compensation needed to pay for such extensive long-term care.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Complications," Accessed on Nov. 18, 2014

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