Traumatic brain injury (TBI) shows itself in various ways, ranging from mild disruptions of consciousness to a severe and unrelenting state that can lead to death.
There are many reasons one may not receive treatment for a TBI.
But when the cause involves medical negligence, the injured person may have a claim for compensation under New Mexico’s medical malpractice statute.
Untreated Traumatic Brain Injuries
According to a comprehensive study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), researchers estimate that nearly 1.4 million TBIs occur in the country every year, including 1.1 million emergency department visits, 235,000 hospitalizations, and 50,000 deaths.
Despite these harrowing statistics, these numbers likely underestimate the actual incidences of TBI because they rely on those who show up at emergency rooms, stay in hospitals, and receive a diagnosis.
Dealing with the effects of brain injury can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially when the condition is misdiagnosed or untreated.
Short-Term Effects of Untreated TBI
For milder TBIs, like concussions, individuals may experience migraines, vision changes, balance disruptions, and fatigue.
Although many individuals recover within 60 to 90 days, there are many short-term consequences, such as:
- Brain fog,
- Light sensitivity,
- Nausea, and
These conditions and symptoms can occur at random times and affect a person’s ability to engage in their activities of daily living.
Long-Term Effects of an Untreated Brain Injury
The long-term effects of an untreated TBI hinge primarily on where in the brain the trauma occurred. For instance, injuries to the frontal lobe may impact a person’s reasoning, judgment, and problem-solving ability.
Moreover, injuries to the left side of the brain may create speech, logic, and comprehension issues. In contrast, injuries to the right side of the brain may elicit problems with visual processing and apraxia.
Some other long-term effects of untreated TBI include the following:
- Balance issues,
- Mood swings,
- Paralysis, and
Further, in some cases, those living with an untreated TBI may experience psychiatric problems that increase the likelihood of death by suicide.
Reasons for Untreated Traumatic Brain Injury
With proper health care and community services, many causes of TBI-related issues can be prevented and treated.
While some people choose not to receive treatment for their TBI because of insurance, time, or stigma, many cases go undiagnosed because of the negligence of a medical provider.
Healthcare providers must take all reasonable steps to diagnose and treat patients with any head injury.
Medical providers should determine whether their patient has experienced a TBI and understand the impact of the TBI on the patient’s current condition.
Further, physicians should screen and treat common and late-developing issues, such as depression, substance abuse, and weight changes.
Moreover, healthcare providers need to encourage lifestyles that promote healing and brain health. Healthcare providers who fail to diagnose, misdiagnose, or fail to treat a patient’s TBI may be held liable for medical malpractice.
Contact a New Mexico TBI Lawyer Today
If you or someone you love experienced a traumatic brain injury and did not receive the appropriate treatment from healthcare professionals, you may have a medical malpractice claim against the provider.
At the New Mexico law firm of Poulos & Coates, LLP, we have over 70 years of experience pursuing compensation on behalf of patients who’ve suffered from inadequate medical care.
We’re also the only New Mexico medical malpractice law firm that keeps a doctor and two nurses on staff to assist with the preparation of our clients’ cases.