All About Brain Injuries With Finney Injury Law
In our practice, we handle a decent amount of what we would call, moderate, mild, traumatic brain injuries. That’s what medicine refers to them as. Even though it’s kind of an oxymoron, how can you have a mild trauma? But, be that as it may, that’s how it’s referred.
We refer to them as concussive brain injuries. These are injuries where someone’s either dazed at the scene, had a short time loss of consciousness (maybe under 30 seconds, maybe under a minute) but they’re just a little foggy. It’s like, Oh, “you got your bell wrong, you’ll be all right.”
A lot of these people, they recover and they do well. That’s fantastic. But for some of these people, they don’t recover as well. And they have lingering symptoms that will affect their life, or their relationships for an extended period of time and sometimes permanently.
So in our practice, when we handle these cases. We’ve handled enough of them that we know what to look for and what to identify. What’s most commonly missed, in these types of things are pituitary dysfunction.
Most people don’t really think about that, but your pituitary gland has to do with a lot of hormones and things like that. When the blood flow to the pituitary gland is disrupted. Whether you get a whiplash injury, or you strike your head on a windshield, or coming back and striking your head on the headrest, that can damage that growth hormone production.
It can have an incredible effect on a person’s quality of life. It can affect their sleep, it can affect their mood. It can affect their sex drive. It can affect so many things.
We have found that when we keep an eye on these injuries, by not talking to the actual individual who suffered it because their insight on what they’re actually going through really does kind of vary; rather we talked to their loved ones, to their family members. Then we can get a better idea of:
- What’s going on with this?
- How are we, three, four, five, six months post-crash?
- How’s their sleep, how’s their body temperature?
- Do they feel cold all the time had all the time?
- Are they irritable?
- Are they having relations with their spouse that are normal, or is that changed?
We take all that into consideration and ask ourselves “do they need a pituitary screening?” We found that when these clients, who do have pituitary dysfunction, who do have a growth hormone deficiency from brain injuries, they have tremendous outcomes.
When they see a neuroendocrinologist, who runs the tests on them, then is able to identify what’s wrong and then prescribe a growth hormone replacement. This changes the quality of life for these people, almost to where they were pre-crash. It’s a significant game-changer.
The other thing we routinely consider, we don’t always do but consider, is Diffused Tensor Imaging. This is a different type of MRI software you can run someone’s brain through and will give you an idea of the disruptions.
You can think of your brain as actually a bunch of wires that are interconnected. The Diffuse Tensor Imaging (DTI) software allows you to see, axonal shearing when axons have been shorn or torn. That means your messages aren’t transmitting, and you have, what’s called brain cell death there. And DTI can identify that information.
It’s not cheap to do okay, you have to be prepared to do it. Not every lawyer is willing to invest that money into these cases, when it comes to their brain injury clients. Fortunately, we are because we’ve seen the benefits and we’ve seen the results that come from it.
But DTI is another way, that you can find a significant brain damage that is missed on your traditional, your 1.5T, 2T or 3T MRI. It’s a different way to look at things.
There are neuroradiologists that do it. We work with a variety of them throughout the country. We can get them on the phone and have the scans looked at. They can give us an idea of what we’re looking for and then formulate a life care plan.
That is another thing that we talk about in almost every case, particularly in brain injury cases. Lifecare plans are a cost projection over the life of someone, for their care resulting from the injury, it’s kind of self-explanatory. We can factor in costs for the growth hormone deficiency, cross cost for physical therapy, OT, and as you get older will you need to go into an assisted living facility?
We use medical doctors to put all this information together. To handle our brain injury cases. To provide the best service, best results to our clients who come to us and to our co-counsel.