It’s estimated that every year, over one million people in the United Kingdom are admitted to hospitals for the treatment of head injuries. These head injuries can result from road traffic accidents, work-related accidents, sports, assaults, falls and so many other circumstances. No matter how they occur, nor how mild or severe they are, they can significantly affect one’s quality of life.
A head injury is defined as any trauma that causes injury to the scalp, scull or brain. The effects of head injuries, especially those that affect the brain, can include poor concentration, memory loss, altered personality, impaired perception, hearing and balance disorders, loss of taste and smell, cognitive dysfunction, as well as permanent brain damage and disability.
Although head and brain injuries are common, nobody should have to suffer from one. Fortunately, the medical facilities throughout the UK are well equipped to handle incidences of traumatic brain injuries. If you are the victim an injury, your first priority should be to seek immediate medical care.
The treatment and recovery process depends largely on the severity of the injury. For minor brain injuries, it may be necessary to refrain from doing any physical strenuous cognitive activities. Other guidelines to follow include: abstaining from driving, drinking alcohol and taking medications (other than what is prescribed for the injury). Your doctor may advise you to take time off from work and suggest that you gradually ease back into your daily routine.
More severe injures may require extended hospital stays and long-term care. In such cases, it may be necessary to take a leave of absence from work or stop working all together. Most people who have significant brain injuries have to dedicate their time to rehabilitation, as some may need to improve or even relearn basic skills and functions so that they can perform daily activities. Depending on the injuries sustained, there are numerous specialists available to help guide you as you try to manage and recover from a traumatic brain injury. In addition to your doctor, there are psychologists, occupational and physical therapists and speech and language pathologists.
As you recover from the accident and strive towards normalcy, there are several different strategies that can help. First and foremost, try to build a strong support system. Family and friends can all help you recover. It may also be beneficial to join a support group. Following a routine and sticking to it can help you adjust and get through daily tasks.
In many situations, it may be necessary to take legal action. Expert personal injury lawyers can help you file a claim for brain injury compensation to help cover any losses you may have incurred, such as high medical bills and loss of income. It may also help provide you with the long-term medical care. Although compensation in no way makes up for your pain and suffering, it can help make the adjustment to your new lifestyle a little less stressful.
By Catherine Morgan who’s a keen medical student and health writer