Phoenix Brain Trauma Lawyers Discuss Brain Injury Seizures
Brain trauma, in its more serious forms, can result in coma and death, but there are many other ways that brain trauma can negatively impact the life of the victim and their family.
Brain trauma can render a person unable to care for themselves and unable to stand up for their own rights, making them completely dependent on others for the rest of their lives. The impact this has on quality, length, and personal meaning of a victim's life is reason enough to not only understand these injuries and how they happen, but what to do to prevent them from happening. The seizures that often take place as the result of serious head trauma can even more greatly impact a person's ability to recover from the injury, escape permanent brain damage and move on with their life.
What is a Brain Trauma Seizure?
A brain trauma seizure is an epileptic episode that takes place after a head injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) and is the direct result of that injury. Although these epileptic seizures are often delayed for hours, days, or even weeks after a serious head injury, their impact on the victim and the healing process is nonetheless significant. According to some studies, approximately five percent of all epileptic seizures reported in the United States each year are the result of head trauma. Brain trauma seizures are most common for those individuals who have experienced scarring on the brain as a result of their injuries.
What Causes Brain Trauma?
Head injuries are considered to be one of the most prevalent and dangerous types of injuries that a person can suffer today. Reports indicate that more than one million individuals throughout the United States suffer a serious head trauma every year. These accidents are often the result of mishaps in sports play, motor vehicle accidents, and other situations where a person's head was hit with severe blunt force or was thrashed about violently enough to cause the brain to bounce around inside the skull, causing serious injuries to the brain and the brain tissue.
Symptoms of Brain Trauma
Brain trauma has very significant and recognizable characteristics if you know what to look for. Unfortunately, many people believe that they have simply bumped their head when in reality they have caused a serious amount of damage that can lead to permanent brain damage, debilitating pain and suffering, and seizures. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a brain trauma include:
- Feeling very sleepy, dizzy, fatigued, or exhausted;
- Exhibiting strange behavior;
- Feeling nauseous or vomiting on a regular basis;
- Sound or light sensitive without illness or prior issues;
- Pupil dilation in either one eye or both eyes when it should not be occurring;
- Migraine headaches or headaches that get worse over time;
- Sleeping more than is typical or being unable to be roused from sleep;
- Change in habits, attention span, speech patterns, and other normal functions; and/or
- Losing interest in things you love; like children, toys and pets.
Symptoms of brain trauma can vary depending on the way the accident occurred and how severe the brain trauma is. However, if someone you love is experiencing these symptoms or similar ones after hitting their head or being hit on the head, it is critical to visit the doctor right away for a proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Other symptoms that should be paid attention after a head injury or possible brain trauma include extreme sadness or depression, loss of appetite, loss of consciousness, extreme confusion, and even severe disorientation, all of which can point to a serious head trauma.
How Common are Epileptic Seizures after Brain Trauma?
Severe brain trauma has the greatest likelihood of leading to an epileptic seizure for the victim. In the case of minor and mild head traumas, it is unlikely that a person may suffer an epileptic seizure since there has not been enough damage to the brain in order to have the impact necessary to trigger seizures. Reports indicate that around 15 percent of adults who suffer severe brain trauma and around 30 percent of children who suffer severe head trauma in also suffer epileptic seizures. Severe head trauma is often characterized by amnesia or a coma lasting more than twenty-four hours, though this is not always the case. Internal bleeding around or in the brain may also increase the risk of epileptic seizures in brain trauma patients.
Seizures experienced after a brain trauma are most common for those victims who suffer an intracerebral hematoma, or a blood clot in the brain. Metal fragments in the skull or brain, and cortical involvement are also considered to be heavy contributors to the development and suffering of seizures after brain trauma has occurred.
Medication to Treat Brain Injury Seizures
Although medications for seizures can help to control seizures that are caused by brain trauma, it cannot eliminate these seizures or the risks that they pose. Those who have suffered a severe enough head trauma to develop seizures may have a problem with them for the rest of their lives. Seizures early in the recovery process from a head injury are typically indicative of a high risk for continued suffering of brain trauma seizures later on in life.
What are Post-Traumatic Seizures?
Post-traumatic seizures are a type of epileptic seizure that occurs after a major brain trauma. These types of seizures can last for 20 or more years after the victim of the brain trauma is cleared by their doctor. The repair process that the brain goes through after a serious trauma contributes heavily to the risk for post-traumatic seizures. The greater the damage to the brain, the greater the likelihood that the victim will suffer an epileptic seizure at some point throughout their long term recovery.
Other problems Caused by Brain Trauma
Unfortunately, for those who suffer brain trauma, seizures are not the only common problem. For those who suffer mild to severe head trauma, serious migraine headaches may become a part of daily life for many weeks, months, or even years. Trouble concentrating and further problems with memory accompanied by mood swings, or being suddenly dizzy a great deal of the time are also a part of the after effects of brain trauma. In cases of minor brain trauma, the damage may only be temporary, but can last for months or even years. For those people who have suffered a significant head trauma, symptoms are often permanent.
How Can You Tell if Someone has had a Brain Trauma Seizure?
Just like a regular epileptic seizure, those seizures that are the result of a brain trauma have characteristics and telltale signs that can help you determine when it is the right time to contact the doctor and get to a hospital. The most common symptoms of a seizure include:
- staring into space in a non-responsive manner;
- fumbling around while smacking their lips or chewing air;
- shaking or stiffening their head, body, arms, legs, eyes, or other body parts; becoming suddenly dizzy or tired;
- being plagued by visual images, tastes, sounds, smells, and feelings that are strange and that no one else around them is experiencing; and
- losing the ability to speak or to understand other people and what is being said.
Preventing Brain Trauma Seizures
For people who have suffered extensive brain damage, it may be nearly impossible to determine when a seizure might occur or to stop a seizure from happening, just as is the case with a regular seizure. Oftentimes, regular doses of medication are necessary to stave off the potential occurrence of seizures, which you wouldn't be able to predict.
As with all other types of injuries and illnesses, there are some risk factors that can increase your risk of suffering a brain trauma seizure once you have sustained a head injury. These risk factors include extreme fatigue, loss of sleep or lack of sleep, abuse of drugs and alcohol, a high fever that persists over more than a few hours, high levels of calcium in the blood, and low levels of magnesium or sodium in the blood.
What Brain Trauma Seizures Mean for Victims and their Families
When you suffer brain trauma, you want the injuries to go away when you've received a clean bill of health from your doctor and are told that you can leave the hospital and move on with your life. Unfortunately, when it comes to brain trauma, the healing process is not so simple. Although many brain trauma victims are able to return home and return to their lives, it is rarely in the same capacity as they once enjoyed, at least not for many years if they are able to make a full recovery.
Seizures caused by brain trauma may last years and can cause families to become bogged down by the debilitating nature of these incidents. Epileptic seizures strike without warning and can make it difficult for the sufferer to hold a steady job or enjoy the activities in life that they once live on.
Minor brain trauma seizures leave victims feeling woozy, dizzy, weak, or confused, though the symptoms typically subside within a few hours at the longest. For those individuals who suffered a serious brain trauma and are experiencing more pronounced seizures, the recovery is much longer. A serious seizure may require days for recovery, if not longer. Most people who suffer these types of seizures are unable to hold a job and require constant care and supervision to ensure that they do not become severely injured during an episode.
Getting Help after Suffering Brain Trauma
Suffering a brain trauma can change your life. In some cases the debilitating pain, permanent brain damage and other injuries can keep you from being able to enjoy life or to be involved in your life, your job, and your family in the ways in which you once were. Brain trauma seizures can make recovery even more difficult or in some cases impossible for the victims and their families.
The Phoenix injury lawyers at The Husband and Wife Law Team have seen many cases when brain trauma has led to seizures that severely and negatively impact the lives of the victims and their families. They know that when you are injured by another person due to their own negligence, that your injuries are compounded by insult. The Breyer Law Offices, P.C. works with victims of brain trauma who suffer from seizures to help them find their way back to their lives with the best medical care available and a fair settlement from the people who caused their injuries. Call (602) 267-1280 for more information.