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Statistics by Headway show that in 2013-2014 there were 348,934 admissions to hospital with acquired brain injuries in the UK, equating to 566 admissions per 1,000 of the population. Here, medical negligence solicitors Blackwater Law discuss the different types of acquired brain injury.
An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred since birth. There are multiple possible causes of an acquired brain injury including road accidents, strokes or a fall.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
To put simply, a traumatic brain injury occurs as a result of a trauma to the head. This can have occurred for a variety of reasons but some of the most commonly occurring types of traumatic brain injury occur because of car accidents, falls or assaults.
Traumatic brain injuries vary significantly in their effects and severity, ranging from relatively minor injuries which do not have a long-lasting impact to severe injuries which can have lifelong impact and require additional support. In instances where long-term suffering has occurred, it may be possible to seek brain injury compensation, this may form part of a wider claim such as a road traffic accident compensation claim.
Severe brain injuries are generally classified as those that have resulted in a loss of consciousness for more than 6 hours, or a post traumatic amnesia of 24 hours or more.
What are the effects of a traumatic brain injury?
The most immediate effect of a traumatic brain injury is frequently coma – occurring due to damage in the nerve fibres.
Different sections of the brain correspond to different functions and therefore damage to a certain part of the brain can result in weakness to certain limbs. For example damage to the left side of the brain or the brain stem tends to result in speech and language impairment.
In addition, traumatic brain injury can result in a number of hidden disabilities that can alter a persons personality, thinking and memory. This can make it particularly difficult for the people close to those affected by a traumatic brain injury.
Treatment for brain injury
Rehabilitation for traumatic brain injuries can vary significantly depending on the extent of the injury that has occurred. Unlike most other cells in the human body, the brain cells do not regenerate when they have been destroyed. However, the brain does seek to regain lost function, this can take months or years.
Rehabilitation is often centered around helping the brain learn alternative ways of working in order to minimise the impact of the injury. Depending on the injury the below treatments may be used:
Often it may also be necessary to have physiological therapy if the injury has impacted the persons mental wellbeing.
Often those suffering from a severe brain injury will require ongoing continuous care in order to help maintain the optimum quality of life. As a result, compensation is often required in order to help support and provide care as well as providing any adaptions to the home that may be required. The amount of compensation can vary significantly but the compensation calculator can provide illustrative amounts.