Head trauma is one of the most serious injuries a person can receive, knowing how to treat a victim can be crucial to their recovery. As the skull protects the brain, it is often the case that the most serious damage can be done within the head, out of sight. However, there are three steps to follow that can give clues as to the gravity of the situation. These are known by the memorable acronym ABC; airway, breathing, and circulation. These checks are essential in the primary care of a patient. Once it has been ascertained that the patient is conscious and breathing, they are stabilized. Then, medical attention will move on to assessing the extent of the trauma. They will also deal with any other injuries that may have been received at the same time.
After this initial period of investigation, it is likely that the patient will be hospitalized for a period of time. Sometimes, this aftermath is the most stressful time in the recovery process; for both the person recovering and their friends and family. Visiting may be difficult if the patient has limited communication or loss of motor function due to the head trauma. Moreover, there is the question of financial arrangements to consider. A close relative will need to discuss events with the patient’s bank manager and employer; also, it is vital to check if they may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
A head injury lawyer will begin by explaining the eligibility process clearly. They will move on to advise on whether there is any third party liability, and if the person is entitled to make a claim. Frequently, claims are made when the injury is a result of a traffic collision, an accident at work, or as a result of medical negligence.
When the injury is stable and the early stages of rehabilitation have been initiated, most patients will be sent home. It is often family members, sometimes supported by carers, who will assist their relatives with daily tasks and activities. Depending on the extent of the head injury, this can be a very demanding time. Unlike other areas of the body, the brain is incapable of healing itself and damaged cells are lost forever. Therefore, the person who comes out of the hospital, may be significantly different from the one who went in.
In time, the brain will begin to process information in different ways, using the resources it has. Fully functional areas of the brain will form new connections; healthy cells will start to take on the tasks of those which have been lost. The patient may find they have to re-learn skills like speech, writing, and walking, that they have taken for granted their entire adult life. At this time, the role of friends and relatives in a caring and supporting role is vital. In order to nurture their recovery, the survivor will need plenty of stimulation and activities. This will encourage a successful and sustained cognitive response.