Why Are Traumatic Brain Injuries Commonly Misdiagnosed?
It’s our experience that traumatic brain injury, concussive brain injury, are commonly missed in the emergency room simply because of the logistics of an emergency room. It’s set up to triage injuries. It’s set up to handle severe immediate injuries that you can see blood, vomiting, loss of consciousness, those types of things. They’ve got to get the worst first. You can’t really see the worst first with a traumatic brain injury.
You really have to sit down with the person and experience the disease of traumatic brain injury. It’s not something you can really ascertain in a 90 second to two-minute doctor visit. We may have somebody who’s seen their primary care physician five or six times over the course of six months complaining of some issues. Well, that primary care physician is really strapped and they’ve maybe only sat down with that person for a total of thirty minutes, 45 minutes combined over that whole 6 month period. When we’re looking at the brain injury we’re talking to a bunch of different people. We have the luxury, the ability, to have more time with the patient, with the client to ascertain what the injuries are.
I want to be very clear we’re not diagnosing brain injuries here, that’s not what we do. But what we are doing is looking for signs and symptoms of brain injuries that we’ve seen in our experiences with these cases. Then we’re talking and educating the client’s family about what needs to be done, what we think needs to be done, what we think can be helpful. It’s not within the everyday common-sense knowledge of a regular person. You break your arm, you know it’s broken, you go to the doctor. Or, you break your arm, you know it hurts, you go to the doctor get an x-ray so we can see what happens. Brain injury is a totally different animal and it needs to be handled as if it’s totally different.