How might my loved one be treated for a traumatic brain injury?

When someone receives a sudden jolt or impact to the head, the brain can become injured. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can range in severity and type, and may affect different parts of the brain. These and other components can lead to a wide variety of potential consequences.

Because so many components can influence the results of a TBI, each injury should be considered unique, and treatment should be tailored to the specific injury. This means that if you have a loved one who recently received a head injury, it can be difficult to predict exactly what type of treatment he or she will require. However, being aware of some possible treatments can help you get a better idea of what to expect.

Immediate treatment

Most moderate and severe brain injuries require emergency medical care. Treatment in these instances may focus on preventing further injury. Medical professionals will likely try to make sure your loved one has enough oxygen, blood and blood pressure. They may also try to manage inflammation or bleeding that may be present.

Sometimes immediate medical concerns can be managed with medications, such as diuretics, anti-seizure drugs or coma-inducing drugs. However, surgery may also be necessary.

Rehabilitative treatment

When your loved one’s brain injury becomes less acute, he or she may begin rehabilitative treatment. This could occur at the hospital, in an inpatient rehabilitation unit, in a residential treatment facility or via outpatient services.

Many different types of specialists work with people who have experienced a TBI. Your loved one may not need all types of rehabilitative treatment that are available. The treatment he or she receives should target the specific challenges that your loved one experiences.

Some therapies your loved one may benefit from include:

  • Occupational therapy, which helps improve skills needed for everyday activities
  • Physical therapy, which helps improve movement patterns, balance and walking
  • Psychotherapy, which supports emotional and psychological well-being
  • Speech therapy, which helps improve communication skills

The cost of treating a TBI can be high, and depending on the circumstances, the road to recovery can be long. However, in some situations, it may be possible to receive compensation for medical expenses and other costs related to the injury. Legal action cannot undo what happened, but it may help your loved one live a more comfortable life going forward.

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