Severe Brain Injuries

When a person undergoes a severe brain injury, it can change everything about them in a matter of seconds. So the Brain Injury Association of America says the most important thing to remember is that the victim with a severe brain injury is still a person. They also suggest keeping in mind that no two brain injuries are exactly the same, and the effects of the injury depend on such factors as cause, location, and severity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Injury Prevention, 1.7 million people sustain severe brain injuries annually from falls, motor vehicle-traffic crashes and other events, such as medical injuries. Even with a mild injury, functions of the brain’s neurons and nerve tracts can be affected. A person might have difficulty carrying the messages that tell their brain what to do. Severe brain injuries can encounter this and change the complex internal functions of their body, such as regulating body temperature; blood pressure; bowel and bladder control. These changes can be temporary or permanent, and may cause impairment or a complete inability to perform a function.

Coma or Unconscious State—the Symptoms

Uncontrollable muscle spasms is one symptom of a severe brain injury; being in an unconscious state or coma is another. Here’s how to tell the difference of the various states that a victim can experience, and the types of brain injury symptoms that might be present:

Coma – Victims may be unresponsive and unaware and typically their eyes are closed. Generally, a coma does not last longer than three to four weeks.

Vegetative state – Victim is unaware of their environment, either externally or internally. Typically, they will display so-called “vegetative functions.” Their eyes are usually open.

Minimally conscious state – Victim shows minimal but definite behavioral evidence of being aware of themselves or the environment. Most who suffer from a severe brain injury can respond to simple commands, making yes/no gestures, or speaking intelligible words that will be incomplete or inconsistent. To declare a person minimally conscious, a doctor must find evidence that the victim has at least some level of awareness.

Though the skull serves as a protective covering for our brain, life-changing and deadly injuries still can happen. If you or a loved one has experienced a severe brain injury due to another’s negligence, contact brain injury lawyers Seeger Weiss for help.

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