As we turn to fall and the National Football League begins its season, it is inevitable at one point discussions will turn towards the impact of brain injuries, often following a play that involved a hard head-to-head tackle or hit. Traumatic brain injuries, commonly known as TBIs, are not exclusive to football or sports; in fact, TBI's are not uncommon workplace injuries, especially for workers in construction and the results can be devastating.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, a traumatic brain injury is defined as a sudden violent hit or piercing of an object that causes damage to the brain. Traumatic brain injuries are typically categorized according to their severity. They can be severe, moderate or mild, each of which carry a list of potentially overlapping symptoms.
Sufferers of a TBI may experience more obvious symptoms related to the head, including but not limited to headaches, dizziness, blurred vision and lightheadedness, as well as mental symptoms including issues with thinking, concentration or attention and memory loss. In addition, a TBI victim may notice an increase in fatigue, changes in his or her sleep patterns and mood or behavioral changes.
Severe TBIs may have long-term or even life-long effects including a loss of sensory processing, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, and long term cognitive and communication issues. For the worst cases of TBIs, a victim may be left in a coma or persistent vegetative state.
Traumatic brain injury victims involved in a workplace accident may be entitled to workers' compensation, depending on the severity of the injury and how much work is lost due to the effects of the injury. Therefore, it is import to become aware of your options and rights follow a head trauma.
Source: By The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "NINDS Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page," Accessed Sept. 6, 2016