At Nguyen Leftt, PC, we’ve seen hundreds of people suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and dealing with the aftermath or continuation of those injures. Getting injured usually happens quickly and unexpectedly. Oftentimes, multiple body parts are injured at once, causing varying degrees of pain in different body parts. Injuries to the cervical and lumbar spine are common. In the case of many accidents, contact with emergency medical first responders or Emergency Room nurses takes place contemporaneously with the injuries.
In the case of mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) the presentation of unknown loss of consciousness, headaches, confusion, often take a back seat to far less insidious, but perhaps more obvious, trauma. For instance, a car accident with a “spider-webbed” windshield could result in the above-mentioned classic concussion symptoms, but if a fractured and angulated pinky finger occurs at the same time, the victim’s complaints, and therefore the emergent medical care, might readily center on the broken pinky, while the concussion goes completely ignored at the emergency stage.
Also, the immediate tests, at the emergency stage, performed to identify traumatic brain injuries are designed to rapidly eliminate the need for emergent surgery. This usually means a CAT scan or x-ray is performed to eliminate the possibility of a brain bleed or hemorrhage, also called subdural hematomas (SDH). Without such a bleed, as in most cases involving mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI), from an emergency medical perspective, your brain injury is not an urgent concern for the ER. It’s not an emergency, since the emergency room cannot so anything further to help you. Meanwhile, a fractured pinky could become the total focus of your care.
Why does this matter to you? In the event your injury results in a personal injury lawsuit, you can be sure that the defense will obtain copies of these first, contemporaneous medical records. To the extend they contain complaints about your broken pinky and minimize complaints about your brain injury, these records often become a focus of the defense at trial. These records alone allow the defense attorneys to argue that you did not suffer a TBI in your accident, and they can be compelling evidence. If your brain was injured, how did all these emergency room doctors and radiologists allow you to be discharged from the hospital?
We at Nguyen Leftt, PC want to remind you that you are your most important advocate regarding your medical care. Ideally, you will want a trusted family member or friend with you after an accident, as there can be a lot of unfamiliar activity happening fast. Please be sure to address any concussion symptoms repeatedly. Those symptoms can last long after any broken bone heals. Protect your brain, speak up.