What is Traumatic Brain Injury?
When your loved one comes home injured after working overseas as a contractor in a military zone the medical issues may be overwhelming. After their recovery begins they leave the hospital or rehabilitation center, and taking care of them may become a full time job for the family.
This is why the support provided through the medical resources given to every injured employee working for a private contractor of the U.S. government in a military zone is imperative to the recovery and care of your son, brother or father who has received a Traumatic Brain Injury.
The Defense Base Act ensures that medical care will continue for the duration of the medical issues from Traumatic Brain Injury; that the checks supporting the family will always come in the mail.
Medical Care Imperative to TBI
High quality medical care, prescriptions, rehabilitation, and checkups allow your family member to recover properly, quickly with the best medical resources possible.
After time passes, there may be continuing health issues that emerge especially if there is a traumatic brain injury involved.
Traumatic Brain Injuries are a different breed: unlike broken legs or broken arms, injuries to the brain can change personalities, lifestyles and families forever. They can have a dramatic impact on a person’s ability to hold a job and interact with friends and loved ones.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by bumps, blows, jolts to the head or penetrating wounds that disrupt normal brain functions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Injuries that cause bruising, swelling or tearing of brain tissue are classified as traumatic brain injuries.
Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury
The most common causes of such injuries are falls and blunt trauma, from motor vehicle crashes, other types of accidents, or from violent attacks. Traumatic brain injury can result when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.
Civilian contractors who work near or in military warzones are particularly susceptible to traumatic brain injuries. Jolts to the head that can occur from being involved in improvised explosive device explosions can cause damage to the brain.
IED explosions have become so frequent that traumatic brain injuries have been called the “signature wound of Iraq and Afghanistan.” The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center has said that 30% of soldiers taken to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center since 2003 have traumatic brain injuries.
The CDC reports that traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of death in the United States; they contribute to about 30% of deaths from injuries. More than 2 million emergency room visits every year, and 50,000 deaths, are associated with traumatic brain injuries.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
Not all traumatic brain injuries are severe or have permanent effects. Concussions, for example, fall into this injury category. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can range from a brief change in consciousness to a prolonged comatose state, or loss of mobility and speech.
Mild Brain Injuries
Mild brain injuries have been defined as those causing loss of consciousness or confusion lasting less than 30 minutes. Other names for mild traumatic brain injuries include concussion, minor head trauma, minor brain injury or minor head injury. It is the most prevalent form of brain injury and it’s often missed at the time the injury occurs.
Even in cases of mild traumatic brain injury, 15% of patients have symptoms that last one year or more, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Severe Traumatic Brain Injuries
Severe traumatic brain injuries are characterized by loss of consciousness or confusion of more than 30 minutes, memory loss of more than 24 hours, and impairment of higher cognitive functions and movement.
Identifying Traumatic Brain Injury
When an injury occurs, patients typically undergo CAT scans or MRI testing. In some cases, especially mild traumatic brain injuries, though, test results can be normal, but patients still have cognitive problems such as headaches, difficulty thinking and mood swings. Repeat visits to a medical practitioner may be necessary to get a full picture of the problem and determine treatment options.
Research on Traumatic Brain Injury
Since the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the rise of traumatic brain injuries among soldiers and others in war zones, and because of the heightened awareness of the dangers of concussions among athletes, there has been a surge of research in recent years to try to understand how the brain and the body can recover from traumatic injuries.
Organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine and research hospitals such as the Mayo Clinic are studying the development of medication and other therapies to aid in nerve regeneration and restoration of limb function and speech.
It’s imperative that medical care continues to ensure the quality of life that excellent medical care provides. Should your Defense Base Act provided health care be cut off, your check cut in half or your prescriptions denied, consult with an attorney. Don’t try to fight the insurance company on your own.