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Update on Traumatic Brain Injury Part 1

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

In Podcast 33, we discussed traumatic brain injury or what is called TBI.

Not long ago, I attended a seminar put on by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. The speaker was Dr. Geoff Manley.

The topic: “Is Mild TBI Always Mild?” It was a fascinating seminar.

Several things are worth passing on to our listening audience.

In this episode, I will explain why the term “Mild TBI” is virtually useless. Here is why.

The medical profession has long used a very rudimentary scale to rank TBI. The scale is called the Glasgow Coma Scale.

The scale assigns points to 15 different categories. If you score 15, you are not comatose.

But, the 15 categories are not very informative.

For example, if you are oriented to time, place, and person for the verbal response category, you score 5 points. If you are confused, 4 points. If all you can do is make incomprehensible sounds, you score 2 points.

A person with a brain injury that is not in any way mild or minor will score high on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Why? Because it doesn’t address categories like headache, dizziness, inability to concentrate, sensitivity to bright light, and sensitivity to loud sounds.

The medical profession is working hard to better describe brain injuries in terms of symptoms and functional deficits.

Once a new scale is developed, it will help patients and doctors.

Part of what is being done is the tracking of TBI patients over time. The effort is gaining critical data on best practices to treat TBI patients.

The data gained is also helping to disclose a lack of training in the medical profession.

For example, if a patient sees an ER physician, and is diagnosed with a TBI after a car crash, and is told to follow-up with a doctor skilled in treating TBI, only a small percentage of people follow-up.

It is not for lack of trying to follow-up; it is because few doctors know how to treat TBI.

Patients simply have few options for getting treatment.

In our next Episode, we will discuss a new diagnostic tool to help treat TBI.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”