National Football League player Chris Borlandmade headlines recently when he announced his retirement from the game. According to the Chicago Tribune, the young man, just 24 years old, played only one rookie season before deciding to leave professional football. He cited concerns about experiencing a head injury, an issue prevalent among football players.
Borland is right to have worries, as Chicago personal injury attorneys have seen the long-term effects of head trauma. Unfortunately, researchers have yet to find a comprehensive treatment to heal and reverse damage.
Challenges to effective treatment
There are several significant challenges to effectively treating brain injuries. One is that many cases go undiagnosed. Another is that the brain is a complex organ about which scientists are still learning. While medical professionals have been able to identify and treat certain symptoms, such as difficulty with speech or motor function, they have yet to determine an easy way to treat the overall issue.
Researchers have tried numerous times to find a cure. Recently, the National Institute of Health reported that a clinical trial experimenting with progesterone and brain injury brought disappointing results. The same thing occurred in the 1980s with putting patients in a prophylactic barbiturate coma.
Current treatment methods
Anyone who suffers trauma to the head is advised to visit a doctor or emergency room. Treatment for brain injuries depends on the severity of the trauma. For mild concussions, physicians typically prescribe little more than rest and pain killers. Patients and their loved ones then are advised to monitor the injury for symptoms of a more severe problem.
Currently, people who have serious brain injuries may undergo treatment such as the following:
- Patients may be prescribed medications such as anti-seizure drugs, diuretics and even coma-inducting drugs.
- Emergency surgery may be ordered to minimize any additional brain damage.
- A team of experts will put together a plan for rehabilitation, which could include seeing speech pathologists, occupational therapists and a traumatic brain injury nurse specialist.
Chicago personal injury attorneys would know that despite the measures in place, many people who suffer a brain injury will have lifelong repercussions.
Prevalence and prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury has increased. In 2001, roughly 521 of 100,000 people went to an emergency room, hospital or died as a result of TBI. In 2010, that number climbed to 823.7 in 100,000.
The CDC advises that preventing TBI should include wearing a seat belt at all times and buckling a child into an appropriate car seat. Anyone riding a bike, playing contact sports or riding a horse should always wear a helmet. Lastly, any living areas where either children or senior citizens are present should be made safer by removing any tripping hazards and improving lighting.
People who have suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence should consult with Chicago personal injury attorneys.