Concussion Patients May Not Be Receiving Adequate Follow-Up Care
What care is needed following a serious traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most common and severe injuries sustained by millions of Americans each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 2.8 million people seek emergency room treatment for traumatic brain injuries annually. About 150 of those individuals will die of a traumatic brain injury each year. Despite the well-known immediate and long term dangers of suffering a brain injury, a new study suggests emergency rooms may not be doing enough to ensure patients receive the follow up care they need. Our Marietta, Georgia brain injury attorneys discuss the accurate diagnosis and treatment of TBIs below.
Concussions Can Prove Difficult to Diagnose
Patients can sustain a concussion in any number of accidents or incidents. Car accidents are a main cause of concussions, as the head can strike the windshield or another part of the vehicle. Other common causes of concussions include falls, sports accidents, being struck by objects, workplace accidents, and assaults.
New research has shown that even mild concussions, especially when repeated, can lead to long term effects. Compounding the problem is the difficult nature of diagnosing a concussion. Concussion symptoms vary from person to person, and at times the full extent of a head injury is not readily apparent until sometime after the accident. Some of the symptoms of a concussion could include:
- Sleepiness or sleeplessness
- Problems with memory or speech
Even mild concussions can leave a patient with ongoing memory issues, headaches, and more, while severe injuries may result in lifelong disability. Due to the immensely severe potential repercussions of a traumatic brain injury, it is essential that physicians accurately diagnose and provide full treatment to concussion patients.
Follow Up Care for Concussions
A recent study examined the care received by 831 emergency room patients at different hospitals across the country. The study found that patients included in the study received little to no follow up care post-discharge from the hospital. Fewer than half of all patients, all of whom had suffered serious head injuries, were provided with educational material detailing the injury or contacted by their healthcare provider for a follow up appointment. This is alarming given the potentially necessary ongoing care for patients who have experienced a severe concussion. TBI injury patients should ensure they receive the medical care they need and contact a personal injury attorney for assistance following any injury caused by a negligence based accident.