Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Lead to Lifelong Complications, Like Aphasia

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Lead to Lifelong Complications, Like AphasiaInjuries and degradations of the brain can lead to some of the most severe, debilitating disabilities that exist. After all, our brain is where our consciousness lives. It’s who we are, how we function, how we live. When someone sustains a blow to the head, or starts forgetting things like their own address or how to get home, they usually get medical treatment right away. They know something is wrong because the symptoms tell them it’s wrong.

In some cases, however, the effects of trauma or illness don’t show up right away, or present as something else. For example, you may have heard that Bruce Willis is stepping away from his acting career. You may not know that it’s because he’s been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects one’s ability to communicate. Expressing and understanding speech becomes more difficult — both skills necessary to being an actor. While it can develop gradually over time due to age, aphasia most commonly happens after a sudden brain-related emergency like a stroke or severe head injury. For an actor like Willis, who spends years in shoot-em-up action flicks, the chances of aphasia being linked to a traumatic injury are pretty high. We don’t know the exact root of Willis’s condition, though we do know we’ll miss seeing him on the big screen.

What types of aphasia are there?

Aphasia specifically stems from damage to the speech and language center of the brain, falling into three categories:

  • Expressive aphasia, which is where victims are better at understanding others than speaking themselves. Speaking in sentence fragments is a common sign of this.
  • Comprehensive aphasia refers to sufferers who may speak in long, nonsensical sentences without realizing they are not being understood.
  • Global aphasia is a combination of the above. They have difficulty with both understanding and speaking languages, and may have poor comprehension all around.

Depending on the severity, cause, and pattern of someone’s aphasia, they may be able to recover some or most language skills with specialized therapies and tools. Most, however, can never fully heal or regain total control and understanding. Aphasia can be an incredibly isolating, frustrating, and difficult condition to cope with — especially for those with no chance of any recovery.

What is a traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injuries are defined as any injury that affects the way your brain functions, which means it covers a wide and varied array of damages (including aphasia) that can all branch off into their own future complications. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important to seek medical help as soon as you know you have a head injury, even if you feel fine; preventing those future complications can usually only happen if you are diagnosed and treated quickly enough.

What are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries?

The risks of a TBI for film and television actors are not that different from the risks non-actors face. Among the most common causes of TBI are:

So while the average non-celebrity may not be filming stunt falls from five stories up, the average construction worker may face the risk a fall from that height. Actors may be involved in complicated high-speed chases, but non-actors are generally at greater risk of a car accident involving a distracted, drunk, or speeding driver. As you can see, you don’t have to be a celebrity to be at risk of a life-altering condition like aphasia.

What are the complications of TBI?

Depending on the severity of the TBI, victims could suffer prolonged or permanent changes to their state of awareness, consciousness, or responsiveness. These complications include such things as:

  • Comas, which happen as a result of widespread damage to all parts of the brain. People in comas are unable to respond to any stimulus and are entirely unconscious, but may wake up as time goes on. If they don’t, typically after a few weeks at the most, they are considered to be in a vegetative state.
  • A vegetative state which can be permanent, but many individuals eventually get to a slightly conscious state.
  • A minimally conscious state, which is sometimes a transitional state on the road to some form of recovery, refers to severely altered consciousness but some signs of awareness of themselves and their surroundings.
  • Brain death, which is declared when there is no measurable brain or brain stem activity. This person cannot recover, and this is when families may choose to remove breathing devices and allow the heart to naturally fail.

Aside from cognitive impairments, victims of traumatic brain injuries could suffer physical complications, such as:

  • Seizures, which can happen for years after the initial injury
  • Fluid buildup and pressure in the brain
  • Brain infections like meningitis
  • Damage to blood vessels, which could lead to a stroke or blood clots
  • Frequent and severe headaches
  • Vertigo, or dizziness
  • Hearing loss

Frankly, the full list of possible complications and injuries related to TBIs is incredibly long — and there is no “good” kind to get. Most sufferers end up with life-long disabilities and pain that needs constant treatment, medication, and accommodations. These can add up quickly in expenses, especially since you may be unable to work for quite some time. That’s why, if your injuries are the result of someone else’s negligence, you should hire an experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorney as quickly as possible. Always prioritize seeking medical help first, but the sooner a professional can start putting together your case, the sooner you can get the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering. Because traumatic brain injuries are so severe, you could be eligible for a substantial amount that could truly make all the difference.

You deserve to focus on recovering, not affording the means to do so. The experienced and compassionate Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at Claggett & Sykes take that idea seriously, and we work hard to get our clients the justice they deserve. For a free consultation to learn about how we can help you and your family, call us today at 702-333-7777 or use our contact form. We maintain an additional office in Reno for your convenience.