It’s easy to see why head trauma or a brain injury can have serious consequences for someone. The brain is the command center of the body, and any injury it sustains may result in permanent damage. That is why head and brain injuries are deemed catastrophic in the realm of personal injury law.
Have you been injured in a Tampa head trauma or brain injury case?
A personal injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Keith Ligori can help you if someone you love has sustained a serious head injury or brain injury. This may have occurred as the result of a car accident, motorcycle accident, slip and fall or even due to medical malpractice. Whatever the situation, one of our dedicated personal injury attorneys can get to the bottom of it and determine who is at fault. This will allow us to seek the highest financial restitution possible to help you recover.
We believe it is your right and our duty to hold the person who caused your injuries responsible for their actions. It may have been negligence, recklessness, malpractice or intentional wrongdoing that led to you or your family member’s injuries. Our personal injury lawyers can work to get to the bottom of your case and determine how to prove the other party’s fault in order to recover financial damages.
A head injury or brain injury may impact you for the rest of your life. Fortunately, you can seek assistance from a Tampa personal injury lawyer and have the opportunity to recover money to pay for medical expenses, future medical care, lost wages, loss of earning potential, emotional trauma and more.
For many brain injury survivors there are two phases, the critical and the long term phase. This means you could need restitution for both current and future medical bills. For family members the critical phase can be the most stressful, as recovery is an uncertain and long road. The brain is such a complex human organ and scientists and doctors still don’t entirely understand the way the brain works. That’s why brain injuries can be such a confusing and difficult process for survivors and their families. Often times, doctors don’t know what to expect anymore than the victims and their families do.
During the critical phase the ER staff’s main goal will be to stabilize the victim. This can be extremely stressful, as you may get a call from the ER informing you that your family member has been seriously injured, but information will be extremely limited. Waiting to know how your loved one has been affected after a brain injury can be distressing. As we have mentioned before, brain injuries can be very complicated to handle and doctors will not want to give you false hope or unnecessary worry.
Once the brain injury victim has been stabilized they will likely be moved to the Intensive Care Unit. Here additional tests and procedures will be done to determine the extent of your loved ones injuries. Within the ICU victims of brain injuries will receive 24 hour care from a team of highly trained doctors and nurses. Seeing someone you love in ICU can be terrifying, especially with all the cords and wires attached to them. Here is a quick rundown of some of the devices you can expect to see attached to someone after a traumatic brain injury. (Courtesy of TBIrecovery.org)
- Patient Monitor / Telemetry –– Many hospitals have telemetry equipment set up to monitor the patient’s vital signs such as the pulse and oxygen saturation levels. A bundle of wires are attached to the patient and the output can be viewed on the monitor. Ask the nurse to explain the different lines and colors to you. The signals are also monitored at the nurse’s station.
- Ventilator – The ventilator is a large machine that may be breathing for your loved one. Sometimes it is because the patient is not breathing well enough on their own and other times it is needed because the patient has been given drugs that suppress the breathing. You may have heard the term of a drug-induced coma. (
- IV’s – There may be multiple IV’s hanging by the bed providing fluids and medications. Often an IV pump is used to meter the flow. The alarm on the IV is one noise you will probably hear a lot.
- NG Tube – In order to provide nutrition a Nasogastric tube, commonly called an NG tube, may be inserted through the nose. Liquid nutrition can be given through the tube.
- Blood Pressure – Most hospitals will use the newer blood pressure cuffs that are left on continuously and then the machine kicks on at regular intervals to take the blood pressure automatically. The results are usually displayed on the telemetry monitor.
- Urinary Catheter – The patient will typically also have a urinary catheter inserted. The tubing empties into a container hung on the bed frame. This allows the doctors to monitor the patient’s fluid output.
- DVT’s / Blood Clots – The lack of movement leaves the brain injured patient susceptible for Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT’s) commonly called blood clots. The major concern is that these clots will travel in the body and cause a pulmonary embolism which can be fatal. You will find it pretty common for the hospital to use prophylactic measures such as intermittent pneumatic compression boots or compression stockings to try to prevent their formation. If the patient develops DVT’s the doctors will likely start the person on blood thinning agents to break up the clots and then continue the drugs to prevent them from forming. There is also a mechanical device such as the Greenfield Vena Cava Filter that can be surgically inserted into the vein to catch the clots before they travel to the lungs.
- Anti-Seizure Medications – Seizures are a somewhat common occurrence after a brain injury. The seizures can occur soon after the injury or sometimes months later. Seizure medication is often given prophylactically. The downside of these medications is that one of the side effects is they can have a sedative effect. Not exactly what you are looking for when you want your loved one to become more active and alert. However, you certainly don’t need seizures right now either. (When you get into rehab remember to speak with the doctor then about reducing or changing the medication if alertness is still a factor.
- Pneumonia – Many brain injured patients on ventilators end up with pneumonia. The staff almost seems to be expecting it as they look out for the symptoms and treat it fairly quickly. It can however be a serious complication
- Ulcers or Sores – Another complication caused by the lack of movement are Decubitus Ulcers also known as “bed sores” or “pressure sores”. These sores can take forever to heal and are best avoided rather than cured. Our daughter was placed on a pressure relief air mattress overlay from KCI while she was in the ICU. We still use the air mattress and four years later we have had no problems with decubitus ulcers.
- Drop Foot – In layman’s terms, drop foot is a complication where the toes point severely downward and the tendons can shorten. It is difficult to reverse and makes walking difficult or in severe cases, impossible. It can be controlled fairly easily if caught early with the use of splints. The key is early detection so make sure you ask the therapists to watch for it and stay aggressive
- Autonomic Functions – Damage to areas of the brain such as the hypothalamus can disrupt the body’s ability to manage its autonomic functions. For example, you may see very high temperatures not related to an infection. If your loved one is unlucky the staff may break out their medieval torture machine, the cooling blanket. This device is placed under the patient and then cold water is pumped through it. To make it worse they may also place ice bags under their arms and on the legs. It is painful to watch your loved one lying, shivering on this blanket in an attempt to bring their temperature down
- Metabolic Functions – The insult to the brain can affect many of the metabolic levels in the body. The doctors will request blood work to determine the levels and make adjustments as necessary. Levels out of the normal range can cause serious if not life threatening complications.
As your loved one recovers, it is important to note that it can be a very slow process. Waking up from a coma can start with a twitch of a finger. Make sure that you keep a cool head, but celebrate the small steps toward recovery as well. The recovery process is more involved than we can possibly list here, so for more information visit TBIrecovery to hear how one family made it through this trying time. The next phase, long term recovery, will be just as difficult as the first, but in different ways.
For all the stress and medical bills placed on a family during and after a traumatic brain injury, the brain injury lawyers at Ligori & Sanders, Attorneys at Law can help. We will work to get you the restitution you need to recover after you or your family member suffered a brain injury. We know that the victims of serious accidents are real people that deserve recovery. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often not willing to pay, even on the worst of injuries. That is where we come in to help you get what you and your loved ones need to recover. The process is slow and sometimes devastating, so hire attorneys who will be there, hire attorneys who you will actually meet, hire attorneys that will help you get better.
Contact a Tampa personal injury lawyer at our firm today for your free case evaluation.