Traumatic brain injuries range from mild to severe. Depending on the type of brain injury you might have, your doctor may propose several treatment options. Treatments for this kind of injury will often extend well beyond the initial injury. For example, you may receive emergency treatment, which is designed to stabilize, while eventually moving toward surgical, acute, and rehabilitative therapies.
The Initial Treatments for a TBI
Initial treatments are designed to sustain you. These are the treatments a victim receives the moment they arrive and are diagnosed with a brain injury.
These treatments may include:
- Resuscitation procedures
- Monitoring vital functions
- Emergency surgery
- Spinal cord assessment
Once stabilized, the victim moves to the trauma care unit. Here they are watched and a new treatment plan is created.
Acute Treatments for a TBI
To minimize any secondary injuries, acute treatments are administered and could include life support. Often the victim is heavily sedated or placed in a drug-induced coma to prevent any further injuries and give the brain time to heal properly. Seizure prevention medications may also be used to ensure the victim does not suffer severe seizures during this critical recovery period.
Surgery is quite common for a TBI, especially those ranging from moderate to severe. The surgical treatments proposed may depend on the extent of the injury and could include multiple surgeries to correct any issues within the brain. Most of these surgeries are designed to stop secondary injuries, improve oxygen and blood flow to the brain, reduce pressure, and minimize swelling.
Surgical treatments vary depending on if the damage was open or closed head.
- Open Head Injury – An open head injury may involve skull fractures that require repair, removal of damaged tissue, and fixing the scalp.
- Closed Head Injury – A closed head injury is more severe, and the patient often has an ICP (intracranial pressure) monitoring device attached to the skull. This monitors the pressure within the brain, and if any bleeding is detected, it is removed promptly. Bleeding vessels or tissues that do not stop on their own are typically corrected with surgery, and sometimes dead brain tissue is fully removed to make room for the living tissue.
The last time of treatment a victim with a TBI might have is rehabilitative therapy. Rehabilitative care may be in a facility or done at the hospital. Other times, it could happen at home.
The goal of rehabilitative care is no longer to sustain life or face life-threatening conditions. Instead, it is about:
- stabilizing the patient and all medical issues stemming from the TBI.
- preventing secondary complications that may include bedsores, pneumonia, and other conditions that occur with those bedridden.
- providing adaptive devices to ensure functional independence.
- restoring all lost functional abilities, such as moving, drinking, eating, and other daily hygiene.
The Cost of TBI Treatments – You Need an Attorney for Help
The cost of initial treatment alone for a TBI is in the hundreds of thousands. The amount it costs to hire an extensive team of specialists will quickly overwhelm any family. If someone’s negligence caused your TBI or a loved one’s TBI, you have a right to hold them financially accountable.