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Lasting effects of a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

It doesn't matter how you got a traumatic brain injury (TBI) - only that you got it, and it's changed your life.

Maybe you suffered a fall while at the store and hit your head. Perhaps you were in a bad car accident, or experienced the injury due to a dangerous work situation that should have been regulated, but wasn't. Many military service members have suffered severe TBIs due to exposure to explosive devices while on duty.

If you're facing life after a moderate to severe TBI, or are caring for someone with one, you know that it has many unpleasant after effects. But it's more serious than many people realize. 

A recent study reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) finds that TBI patients who required inpatient rehab services experience such significant changes in their balance and thinking that they're at a much higher risk of unintentional injuries in the future.

What other long-term effects are there?

Unfortunately, for those who experience a moderate or severe TBI and need inpatient rehab services, the prognosis afterward is not good. Life expectancy is shorter than for those without TBI - nine years shorter. That alone is a very troubling statistic. Chronic health problems cam plague TBI sufferers: seizures, infections and pneumonia become much more likely.

The costs and burdens for those with moderate to severe TBIs and their families are serious. According to the CDC, for those people still alive five years after their initial injury:

  • 57 percent are disabled
  • 55 percent are unemployed (but were employed before their TBI)
  • 33 percent need help from others for everyday life
  • 29 percent abuse alcohol or illegal drugs
  • 12 percent live in nursing homes

As you can imagine, all of these issues are difficult to manage, leading the CDC to urge treatment of TBI as a chronic disease, requiring lifelong management. With an improved focus on proper treatment and an increased national effort to promote long-term health and well-being after a moderate to severe TBI, patients will hopefully see better outcomes in the future.

Managing this lifelong condition is expensive, to say the least. The financial burden takes a toll on patients and their families and can quickly become unmanageable, adding more stress to recovery. If you're dealing with a moderate to severe TBI in your life, whether it's yours or a family member's, talk with a personal injury attorney about ways to mitigate the situation. Everyone needs help at times, and this may be one of them. You shouldn't have to suffer on your own.

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