When the brain is injured, the essence of the person is affected. Memory, reason, temperament and personality may all be impaired in strange and inconsistent ways. Traits that were minor idiosynracies before may expand into debilitating obstacles.
The effect may be devastating to the victim’s relationships, occupation, income, school performance, and overall quality of life. However, he may look just fine physically, and may seem normal in casual encounters. To make matters worse, friends, family members, coworkers and employers may not understand or sympathize with an injury they cannot see.
When a person suffers multiple severe physical injuries, the focus is often on the visible injuries, the cuts and broken bones. Closed head injury to the brain is thus one of the most overlooked and sinister outcomes of traumatic injuries. Broken bones can heal, but the unseen injury of a bruised brain may never fully recover.
What is Brain Stem Injury?
The brain is made up of three main areas, including the cortex, the cerebellum, and the brain stem. The purpose of the brain stem is to act as a relay station between incoming sensations and the cortex. By connecting the two hemispheres of the brain, the brain stem receives incoming stimuli as it travels through and is received by the cortex in order to generate a response and relay it back through the brain stem to the body. Considered one of the most critical areas, a brain stem injury can have devastating effects.
A brain stem injury can disrupt a person’s life forever because of the importance of a properly working brain stem. The brain stem’s job as a relay station functions to control consciousness, alertness, and basic bodily functions. When a traumatic brain injury has occurred, the effects can be life long both physically and mentally.
The brain stem injury can cause loss of consciousness, a completely changed memory or personality, paralysis at varying degrees, a vegetative state, as well as other tragic occurrences. There have been estimates that every year over two million traumatic brain injuries will be sustained, which is considered a low estimate. Of the people who survive the traumatic brain injury, around 70,000 – 90,000 will have life long debilitating loss of function, including an additional 2,000 that will live in a vegetative state.
While any brain injury is a serious occurrence, severe brain injury can be fatal, though advances in medical and surgical techniques have allowed for a greater survival and recovery rate for victims. Still, learning how to cope with life altering effects of a brain stem injury can be incredibly difficult. If a person loses consciousness or suffers a concussion after an injury, it might be an indicator that a brain stem injury has occurred
Traumatic brain injuries cost an estimated $48.3 billion in the U.S. annually. Costs incurred because of a brain stem injury can be very high, causing hardships in addition to the physical, emotional, psychological, and other effects. When negligence on the part of another party or parties has caused the brain stem injury to occur victims are entitled to compensation.
It is important to contact a lawyer with experience and reputation for successful brain injury cases because often times the financial hardships will be life long. Since it is often difficult to know the extent of the brain stem injury damage, costs can be even more significant than the victim and family may initially realize.