Despite the fact that traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability in children and youth, many myths persist about its treatment and recovery. Incorrect information is the basis of stereotypes and false assumptions. This article corrects 5 common myths or misunderstandings about it.
Myth 1: All brain injuries are alike.
The fact is that each brain injury is different. Damage may be caused by direct impact to the brain but it can also be caused by swelling and bruising of brain tissue, shearing and tearing of nerve fibers, loss of oxygen, or blood clots.
Myth 2: Physical recovery means that the brain has healed.
The fact is that cognitive recovery of thinking and reasoning skills is very different from physical recovery. A child may have a good physical recovery but still have significant cognitive impairments with changes in thinking and learning.
The fact is that the exact opposite is true. The effects of an injury to a child’s brain may not be fully revealed until the injured portion of the brain develops and matures. Time reveals the latent effects of an earlier injury in children.
Myth 4: Young children recover better than older children.
The opposite is true. The younger child’s brain is less developed and is at greater risk for difficulties in the future because the critical stages of development have been interrupted by the injury.
Myth 5: Recovery is complete 6 months after the brain injury.
While recovery may be most rapid during the initial months after the injury, there is no fixed timetable for long-term recovery. Families report seeing their child progress many months and years after the injury as brain functions improve and as their child develops and matures.
The bottom line is that parents know their child best. They know their child before and after the injury. They have seen their child through all stages of emergency and medical care. While professionals and programs come and go in a child’s life, with very few exceptions, parents are the constant in the child’s life.
Marilyn Lash is a founding partner of Lash and Associates leading resource on brain injury, blast injury and concussion in children and adults.
Car accident s can cause traumatic brain injury.It's an unfortunate reality. When it happens, there can be a lot of symptoms and issues to deal with. The first thing to know is that you don't have to go unconscious in order to have a brain injury. If you receive a blow to the head, there can still be a traumatic brain injury (TBI). But, what might you experience if this happens?
The first thing to know is that there are both short and long-term symptoms from TBI. The short-term symptoms can last from a few hours to a few weeks or even months, but they eventually go away. However, the long-term symptoms of TBI can last for years and even remain permanently. It is almost impossible to know which symptoms will stay with you until several months after the head injury accident.
One of the first symptoms that people often notice is they experience amnesia. In particular some people may find it difficult to even remember the details of the brain damage accident. This is because of injury to brain tissue and the trauma involved with a blow to the head. It’s also not uncommon for the person to have amnesia about events that took place just before the accident too. It all depends on how much trauma there is to the brain.
After a car accident, a person with TBI can feel very dizzy. They may even feel disoriented. The dizziness should eventually go away, but some people with TBI experience episodes of dizziness from time to time, depending on how serious the injury is.
A young man I know remembers being very nauseated and throwing up a great deal immediately after the accident. This is also not an uncommon reaction. So, in addition to being dizzy, disoriented and nauseated, the person may be very forgetful. In fact, memory loss is one of the most common long-term symptoms of TBI that results from a car accident.
A young woman I met explained how she not only felt dizzy and disoriented, but also had a bad taste in her mouth and tinnitus–or ringing in the ears. The tinnitus stayed with her for some time, but thankfully the bad taste, dizziness and disorientation eventually faded away.
For numerous men and women I’ve worked with who survived a car accident only to have TBI,
the most common problems were severe headaches, memory loss and sensory changes. Some people experienced blurred vision. A man I know who was an able construction worker fell twenty feet and ever since his construction accident he’s absolutely had no sense of smell or sense of taste.
Other individuals with TBI experience a long list of challenges in their lives. These can range from concentration difficulties to convulsions, seizures and coordination problems. Another long-term problem can be hemiparesis which is a condition in which parts of the body (often the arms and/or legs) experience profound weakness. There was one young man I met whose family told me he was the nicest person you could possible meet before his brain damageaccident. After the accident, he became combative, rude and extremely angry. These are symptoms of frontal lobe syndrome or injury. The brain is a very complicated organism and TBI from a car accident can make a person’s life very challenging. There are some people who find they can’t learn any new information.
For those people who experience these long-term challenges there is also hope and support. Some years ago I met a young woman who had been in a horrific car accident. At first the doctors thought she wouldn’t survive. Thankfully, she did. Still, this young girl faced enormous challenges. She had hemiparesis on her left side, learning difficulties and coordination problems. But, she had the one quality that marked her as a true survivor–she believed in herself and her ability to conquer her challenges. And she did. This young woman is now studying to become a professor and there is no doubt that she’ll succeed. Her mother ignored the advice of some doctors to institutionalize her daughter and face the “facts” that her life choices would always be limited. The mother never believed that for a minute and neither did her daughter. The two have proved that TBI can be challenging but challenges can also be overcome.
Since their founding in 1978, Bisnar Chase lawyers have represented over four thousand people in car, motorcycle, truck, pedestrian and other personal injury cases. The law firm has an “AV” rating, the highest level of professional excellence, by Martindale-Hubble. John Bisnar, who is the author of this article, and his partner Brian Chase each have a “10” Avvo rating, the highest possible. John was named a “Community Hero” by the United Way, while Brian was named a “Trial Lawyer of the Year” in 2004 and one of the 2007 Top 100 Trial Lawyers. More important than all their top ratings and awards are the testimonials their clients bestow on them. Aren’t these the type of guys you want representing you? For more information on brian injury lawyers, visit the Bisnar Chase web site at http://www.bestattorney.com or call 1-800-561-4887.
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