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Understanding traumatic brain injuries

Oklahoma residents may be familiar with a controversial police shooting case in Charlotte, South Carolina. However, they may have missed certain details, such as the effort by the man's wife to advise police that her husband had a traumatic brain injury. The nationwide attention to this case has focused primarily on racial tensions, but TBI deserves some attention as well. The man's mother has provided the media with an overview of the injury, which apparently resulted from a motorcycle accident that occurred approximately a year earlier.

The man's mother reported that he had cognitive issues as well as stuttering. His memory was also apparently affected. The immediate impact of a brain injury might not be clear as some symptoms can take a few days to occur. An injured party could deal with headaches, drowsiness or neurological issues such as numbness in their extremities. There could be changes in speech patterns and coordination, and an individual might demonstrate aggressive behavior or confusion. There may be physical symptoms, such as convulsions, vomiting or draining fluid at the ears or nose. Some symptoms indicate a particularly severe TBI.

Treatment can vary based on the symptoms and injury severity. Medication to limit the potential for seizures might be prescribed. In severe cases, a coma could be induced to permit healing. Diuretics might be warranted if there is significant swelling, and surgery could be used in some instances.

An individual injured in a fall or auto accident might not immediately realize that they have suffered a brain injury, but a medical exam could help to ensure that initial signs of such injury are documented. Following up on any unusual symptoms in the days following such an incident could help in ensuring that a TBI is identified as soon as possible. Legal action might be appropriate if the negligence of another party or organization has contributed to an accident causing these medical issues.

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