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Author: Michael Ehline - Brain Injury Attorney

Are You the Victim of a Los Angeles Brain Injury or TBI?

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The Los Angeles commercial building where Ehline Law Firm at (213) 596-9642 is located.

From 2010-2015 39,838 cases of Los Angeles, brain injuries caused by accidents were reported by the California Department of Public Health. Head injuries are known to affect people in different ways negatively. Proper treatment and diagnosis after being hurt is key to protecting your medical and legal rights. So what is a head injury? Let’s look at the below definition.

A brain injury is any injury occurring in the brain of a living organism. Brain injuries can be classified along several dimensions. Primary and secondary brain injury are ways to classify the injury processes that occur in brain injury, while focal and diffuse brain injury are ways to classify the extent or location of injury in the brain. Specific forms of brain injury include: (en) (Learn more about brain injuries here).

Immediately after an accident sometimes, but not always, symptoms of brain injury can present themselves. So for example, if you get fall and bang your head, or get struck during a car crash, see if you are dizzy.

So vertigo, lightheadedness, and even throwing up can all be signs of a closed head injury. Even when these symptoms don’t crop up, following some simple tips listed below can help rule out a brain injury.

First, get to the emergency room. Get the police to make a report at the accident scene so you can make a record of consciousness, or see little birdies. Make a digital/photographic record of the crash scene too. Of course, it goes without saying that you should consult a brain injury attorney and a brain doctor. Learn about your lawyer by looking at reviews, social media and have a face to face meeting. Or call (213) 596-9642 and speak to counsel right now.

Research Shows Pituitary Damage Frequently Follows TBIs

Color chart of stem of human brain
Schematic of brain stem.

As if the effects of brain injury isn’t enough. Researchers determined that traumatic brain injury does even more damage to the human body than previously believed. The brain’s fragile and important interaction with the pituitary gland is vital to bodily function. Injuries cause interruption or change to the regular interaction between the two.

This is where personal injury attorneys need to keep their medical knowledge current. The Ehline Law Firm APLC is the leading TBI law office in California. This is partially due to our own research and partially due to partnerships with leading physicians and researchers. With medical science expanding quickly, it is vital to be ahead of the curve.

In addition, there are several key factors at play. One is the well being of our clients. The newest medical knowledge allows us a better understanding of their medical challenges. Furthermore, it also allows our firm to estimate their future needs better.

Emerging Science

Pituitary injuries are nothing to sneeze at. In fact, coupled with TBIs, they are often devastating to families. A 2015 article printed by the National Institute of Health shows the incredible effects on the human body.

Up to 20% of TBI victims develop chronic hypopituitarism. Imagine the numbers. 235,000 people are hospitalized due to TBIs, and many more do not seek treatment. There are thousands of people suffering from effects of sports injuries, work accidents, and car accidents. These medical issues can cause severe pain, hematomas, and severe blood and energy issues.

All of this means tens of thousands to millions of dollars of needed future care, depending on the client. Clients, firms, and courts need to know this vital information.

For more information about the future of thyroid issues and traumatic brain injuries, keep it tuned here. The Ehline Law Firm writes about the future of medicine and how it affects law firms and our clients.

TBIs Affect Every Level of Football

My Money is on Smith
An NFL football sits with a pile of money on a green field

Watching some of the coverage of Traumatic Brain Injuries related to the NFL.  You may believe that it is only a problem in professional sports. That is wrong. Instead, such brain injuries are linked to every single level of playing football.

There are cases of players as low as peewee football facing severe brain issues. From repeated concussions. Whether they are playing for the NFL or your local high school or college team. This presents a series of dangerous realities.

In conclusion, doctors and coaches have known. About the dangers of repeated concussions. Also other brain injuries for years. Personality changes and cognitive issues. Even early death. Are all symptoms of tackles that happen over and over again. Furthermore, many players exhibit these. Along with other signs of severe harm. However, some of these will have immediate symptoms. While others can take weeks, months, and years to appear.

It’s clear that the NFL sat on knowledge about such harm for years. Thus, the teams placed players at risk of getting hurt. It created a culture that did the same down through all football teams. No matter how small. Coaches put players out on the field. Players that were clearly rattled. Then let them face the outcome.

The media has placed the issue in the news. But many former players are hesitant to come forward. Furthermore, the sooner that people come forward. The more likely they are to receive effective treatment.

Football players, past and present, are much more likely to face the following medical issues:

  • Memory Loss
  • Dizziness
  • Impulse Control Issues
  • Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
  • Dementia
  • Depression, including Suicidal Thoughts
  • Insomnia and other Sleep Disorders
  • Memory Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Parkinson’s
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Intermittent Explosive Disorder
  • Psychosis

What are the Options for Players?

Often there is a statute of limitations on when suits related to football or other harm can be filed. In addition often they fall within about two years. But some time limits are just one year. With the recent Federal District Court Settlement under Judge Anita Brody. For former football players that face brain issues can sue. Including Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Some instances of CTE may have the right to restitution.

Finally, this can include:

  • Examinations, including neuropsychological and neurological. Other medical testing, counseling, and other treatment.
  • Compensation for mental impairment.
  • Other medical care as needed.

These terms don’t go far enough but are a start. The NFL and NFLPA are creating positions to monitor how the situation unfolds. To protect current and future players from such a fate. More action is needed to stop future harm. We owe it to our football players of all ages.

Thus, you believe that you suffered harm due to playing football. Please contact Ehline Law today. Our team of legal pros pay special attention to your case. We offer you any and all help. The team has fought and won other sports injury cases. We offer our full efforts. As a result, we will come anywhere in the state to discuss your case and legal options. Please call or email us today.

TBI Means Only the Good Die Young?

Human Brain Handcuffed
human brain with arms, legs, and handcuffs on hands

The results of traumatic brain injuries can be long lasting. People can lose their cognitive abilities. Thus, the more severe, the more permanent the harm can be to the victim. People start facing challenges with emotions and develop many physical damages after having a serious traumatic brain injury.

However, even the medical pros were aware until recently that slight concussions could cause long-term adverse effects on the lives.

Little Head Blows Cause Big Injuries

Hence, studies show these small blows to the head can cause long-term damages. The symptoms can sometimes remain invisible for the life of the brain injury victim. But often the victim’s don’t recognize the problem. So this could be akin to the “Emperor With no Clothes” syndrome. As a matter of fact, we see this behavior in people with cognitive and mental disabilities.

Physical and Emotional Toll of TBI

The damages caused by traumatic brain injury are not just related to emotions. Often, physical challenges and cognitive abilities of a person are entirely out of whack. A severe TBI will always come as an enormous financial blow to the receiver. However, when there is another party involved in the incident that caused TBI, the injured person has full entitlement. So he is allowed by law to receive compensation from the negligent party.

Of course, physical and emotional loss can’t get repaired. But the financial loss can get compensated. So if you have taken the pain of a traumatic brain injury or someone you love has, get in touch with Ehline Law Firm. Do it right now to receive full compensation for your loss.

There have been several studies conducted. The objective was to know the consequences of traumatic brain injuries. Two of the most mentionable ones are:

  • Brain Ages Faster After TBI Study

Doctors use neurological imaging. Because of this, they can find out the age of their patients. Also, they examine the state of the brain. Hence, this scan tells them the age of the person and its state.

However, a recent study involved those who had received brain injury at some point in their lives and those who had not. This study tricked the experts reading these brain injury scans. Also, those with brain injuries taking part in the study received injuries in automobile accidents, sports, etc.

Images of the brains of all participants were part of a presentation to the medical professionals. They then had to estimate the patient’s age based on their scans. Thus, when they received scans of people with intact brains, they predicted their ages quickly as they normally do.

But they were not able to do so when they received the scans of people with TBIs. The white and gray matter of the brain showed amazing results as examined by doctors. Of particular note, doctors discovered that the ages of these injured people predicted to be more than their actual ages.

Brain Damaged Victims Scanned as Four Years Older?

In most cases, they predicted the age of the wounded people to be nearly four years more than the real ages. When brain atrophy metrics measured, findings showed their brains deteriorated more when the injuries were severe.

Mostly, brains of the people with serious injuries looked much older. Furthermore, the brains of the less, or non-injured citizens were younger in appearance. In a nutshell, this damage to the brain remains mostly unseen in most traumatic cases.

  • Life Span Often Shortens.

Journal of Neurology hosted another recent study also conducted for the same purposes. So there was a total of 2,428 patients with less severe traumatic brain injuries. Another group consisted of people with intact brains.

Post study research shows:

  • Multiple traumatic brain injuries often shorten a person’s life.
  • 1.4 times higher likelihood of dying in people with head injuries. Contrast this with those with no injuries at all.
  • Those who received traumatic brain injuries were prone to die within 15 years of their injury. Contrast this with people with intact brains.
  • People who had traumatic brain injuries and are between 15 and 54 years of age are likely to die early. Hence, 4.2 times higher likelihood of death as compared to those who don’t have any TBIs.

From this study, we can conclude that people who have received traumatic brain injuries have higher chances of dying earlier. Contrast this with their healthy fellow beings. Quite alarming remains the fact that younger people (i.e. between the age of 15 and 54), have higher chances of dying early.

Contact Sports Carry Increased Risk of Early Demise?

Thus, when victims received traumatic brain injuries, the risks elevate of an early demise. So the case remains the same for severe and mild traumatic brain injuries. What this means is that if sportsmen played any contact sport, they are at elevated risk for brain damage. Particularly pertinent, sports like football, hockey or boxing are putting your life in danger. Hence even with light contact, this remains true. So even with minor blows to the head can ruin you.

The doctors have to make sure that they don’t merely rely on regular brain tests. So they cannot just proclaim a patient of traumatic brain injury safe.

So they must go for deeper scans of the person’s brain. Also, this remains true for patients who have received even minor head injuries. Last, this can prove to be hugely helpful for those who are fighting personal injury cases. Most of all, it opens the door to receive compensation.

Get In Touch With Ehline Law Firm

At Ehline Law Firm we retain the most professional lawyers of the field. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling personal injury cases. We continue to help people with their personal injury cases. Each of us does this on a daily basis. We have already won millions of dollars for our clients.

We bind ourselves by our duty to those that entrust us. Our firm finds every major and minor piece of information. All of this that can help you with your traumatic brain injury case. In addition to recompense for the most visible damages, we will make sure victims get compensation. Last, we do this for their unseen brain injury costs too.

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Doctors Were Stumped Till Now on Treatment of TBI?

New methods used by doctors like this to care for brains
Doctors finally have a chance to treat brain injury.

Quite comforting it must be when you imagine your doctors know everything.  And in most cases our doctors do know everything they need to know. But a few cases exist where they don’t have the best information or expertise.

In the case of treating TBI, they had been somewhat stumped for years. Especially true was the case when they were posed with broad questions. The brain is just so complex. But repairing the brain is the main goal of all healers.

The Black Box?

David Ryser takes care of Intermountain Medical Center Neuro-Specialty Rehabilitation Unit in Murry. He acts as a medical director. Of note, he has used the term “black box” when defining the practice of various clinicians when it comes to rehab for patients with brain injuries.

Thus, he says that you will hear the clinicians say that recovery worked for a patient. But according to him, this information remains sparse. A lot of stuff remains hidden underneath that term. And it cannot yet be answered precisely.

So the problem for researchers is finding the exact process among hundreds of operations. So the key remains finding out the goings on as part of the cure.

The Evolution of Practice Based Evidence in Diagnosing and Curing Brain Injury

A big research project started seven years back. Further, it initiated by professors of biomedical informatics at the University of Utah. Their names are Susan Horn and David Ryser. Susan Horn gained fame for prioritizing “practice-based evidence.” The study, published in a medical journal, showed 2000 subjects as part of the research. These topics’ researched located around ten rehab centers in various regions.

Also, rehab centers included in the study were not only in the US but Canada too. One of those patients was Greg Nordfelt. So he had been a great motorcyclist in Salt Lake. Now Greg works as a banker at 53 years of age. Having a bad stomach one day, Greg fell off his Harley Davidson in Idaho. He suffered injuries to his skull and left brain. So his normal life stopped right there.

Intermountain Medical Center was the place where he was brought after his accident. In addition to the brain injury, he had received serious injuries to his legs. Greg recalls that the first thing he did when he came to his senses. Mind you; this was after two weeks of being on the bed unconscious.

What he did was to follow the instructions of the staff. The people at the center for therapy gave him tasks. The patient received immediate physical therapy. The client also received occupational and speech therapy. He went through several processes just like any other patient like him does.

The Butterfly Puzzle Example of Success.

He recalls receiving a puzzle of just four pieces. When you joined all the pieces of the puzzle together, it was a butterfly. He recalls this incident and cries with tears. Then he explains that he could not put such a simple piece of the puzzle together for so long. Finally, he was able to put the pieces together.

He had found out that it was a butterfly. However, it was even more shocking for him when he could not tell the doctors what he saw on the completed puzzle – a butterfly.

50,000 TBI Deaths Per Year.

Traumatic brain injuries are a huge problem for the country. Because they caused 50,000 deaths in just one year in 2010 shows their dangers. (Read more.) Also, as stated by several experts from CDC, more studies are sought after. So the argument is that all the things are missing in the previous studies or not answered.

These can be answered with more data. The health effects of traumatic brain injuries are many. So this includes physical, cognitive and mental. And these effects may change completely from one patient to another.

The Many Factors Involved in TBI Treatment

Why it remains nearly impossible to pinpoint the working factors in a rehab involves hundreds of factors. Think about the factors that make one patient different from another:

  • His age when he received brain injury,
  • Intensity of the impact,
  • The damages of the brain injury,
  • Treatments he is receiving etc.

Horn explains the question about rehab. He says when you ask this question the person who should answer is clueless. The answerer just thinks that it impossible to pinpoint. Horn said that practice-based evidence might be the only thing that works. It could allow clinicians to answer such questions. He said that using practice-based evidence means collecting loads of data. Knowing more about the remedy of patients while working on them remains key.

Statistical Based Research on Brain Injury Treatment

After collecting the data the modern statistical techniques become invaluable. Also, this helps find out the most effective processes. Nordfelt was one of the many patients who went through therapy and recovery. He did so immediately after the brain injury. So his treatment provided every dot of the information about his recovery. This information was key to researchers.

Thus, these researchers kept records of everything that he was going through. So from his speech therapy hours to the type of food he got through tubes, researched derived. 1000 clinicians produced notes and records. Records about sessions amounted to a total of 350,000. Also, this was huge data. Furthermore, such large amounts of data are unprecedented in the past for recovering patients.

The study, in summary, includes 14 papers. According to the main points mentioned in its published version:

The ideal time interval between the injury and rehabilitation should be as small as possible for the best results. So according to Ryser, his team stays in touch with the ICU. Hence, this allows the patients admitted rehab as soon as possible.

Intensity of the therapy achieved higher priority and preference than its length and amount. Also, in the study, doctors taught most of the patients to sit up and move around on the bed only. Such practices help the patients recover faster. Such is the case with cognitive and motor related troubles.

Researchers deduced that feeding tubes play a huge role in the fast recovery of the patient. According to Ryser, taking care of feeding tubes is often a troubling task. So for the staff, it proved it mattered a lot. Again, the report mentions a providing diet high in proteins really helped the patient a lot. So at least 25% of the total diet during their entire stay ideally is composed of such high protein diet.

Limitations of Brain Injury Studies

While such studies often such how the patients with severe brain injuries seek treatment, they are not easy to conduct. So this was due to several limitations. So the biggest limitation to such research and studies remains finances. Of particular interest, this particular study cost nearly $7 million dollars. Furthermore, such money funded through grants.

Thus, the study was hard. Also, only serious professionals could conduct such a thorough study again. So Nordfelt has thankful thoughts of the staff there. Also, he remains grateful for the positive dealings with them. Most relevant here, he said that Intermountain and similar centers build appreciation. He says we need to work with more aggression on patients. He feels he got his life back due their efforts.

Volunteering and Giving Back

Hence, Nordfelt has now volunteered there with his wife. Also, he won’t leave any opportunity of giving back. He wants to thank the institution that did so much for him. So Ryser says that after the study and its results, practice-based evidence finally received recognition. And this was well deserved.

He said that brain injury and Psychiatry related rehab are the places where practice-based evidence is the only way to analyze data. Also, it is the best way to reach a result. Contrast this with randomized controlled trials. He says they have not helped much in these cases.

Accepting Practice-Based Evidence

Horn said that NIH has always been reluctant in accepting practice based evidence but things might change in future. Thus, according to Horn, they are compelled to accept practice based evidence.

Because of this, randomized controlled trials have produced the same information over and over. So they might not get any other option than accepting practice-based evidence. This is the most effective way of researching.

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Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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