Evaluating a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a complicated matter. While it's important to stay alert to symptoms, you can't come to a diagnosis on your own; you really need to consult with medical professionals. Sometimes, even mild symptoms signal serious problems. There are a wide variety of possible symptoms, some of them subtle, others severe and difficult to miss. Sometimes the symptoms appear immediately, while other times they manifest days or weeks later.
What do you commonly see in an evaluation of TBIs?
Brain scans. CTs are the main kind of brain scan, frequently the first one taken to detect damage and bleeding. MRIs are another relatively common scan, but they don't usually come into play during an emergency situation; more sensitive and finely detailed than CTs, and also more expensive and time-consuming, they may be recommended as a follow-up scan. Along with these two types of scans, there are several others, including fMRIs, that can also look at cognitive functioning.
Neuropsychological assessments. These are tests of different cognitive, sensory, and motor abilities. Memory, concentration, problem-solving, learning, fine and gross motor skills, and emotional responses are among the areas evaluated.
Interviews with the patient and family. These are conducted to get a better overall picture of the patient and see what's changed after the TBI.
Medical chart review. It's also necessary to do a comprehensive review of all of the symptoms of the TBI and its effects on the patient's health and functioning; the results of scans and other tests will also be evaluated. Furthermore, it's important to look at the patient's overall health. Does he/she have any other medical conditions or vulnerabilities?
Case conferencing. Different doctors, physical therapists, and psychologists may meet to discuss the patient's state of health and prognosis; they can also evaluate the patient's progress once treatment or rehabilitation is underway.
If you have any additional questions about what the appropriate medical follow-up should be for a TBI, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll also discuss your case with you and give you legal advice.