The Trouble With TBI And Misdiagnosis
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBI, include concussions, brain hemorrhages, and other sources of brain damage that come from outside sources. Two of the most common sources of TBI in American adults are sports injuries and vehicle collisions, and although headrests and air bags are designed to prevent whiplash and TBI (among other injuries), it’s still common in vehicle passengers and struck pedestrians alike.
TBI also happens to be among the most common misdiagnoses within the medical profession.
A Delayed Reaction
Whether mild or major, a concussion is generally easy to diagnose after an injury. Classic symptoms include dizziness, confusion, a headache, nausea, a delayed response, and fatigue. Doctors are split as to whether a concussed patient can sleep or must be kept awake, but either way these initial symptoms typically fade to nothing within a matter of hours or days.
However, not everyone is lucky enough to be done with TBI at this point. Although the mechanics behind TBI are still poorly understood even today, it’s well documented that new, long-term symptoms can sometimes appear days or even weeks after a head injury and then persist for months or years. These symptoms are more subtle than those of a concussion, but they can be serious just the same. Long-term symptoms include:
- • An inability to concentrate
• Depressive thoughts and behavior
• Persistent dizziness or vertigo
• Sleep disorders
• Issues with taste or smell
Because of this time delay, you may not realize that your sudden new problem is related to your earlier TBI, and depending on your symptoms you may not even consider visiting a doctor about them until much later. And if neither you nor your doctor can connect the dots, you may wind up with a misdiagnosis.
You won’t be alone, however, because various studies have shown a misdiagnosis rate for TBI of between 10-20 percent. Alternatives include:
- • ADHD
• High stress
A misdiagnosis can be a very serious matter. A physician who doesn’t know the right cause may not provide the right treatment, which at best means the patient won’t get better and at worst will cause the patient additional pain and suffering.
A misdiagnosis will also cause trouble for any personal injury suit or insurance claim related to the initial injury. If the TBI remains undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, it will mean that the affected individual will significantly underestimate the value of his or her claim. And even if the TBI is correctly diagnosed at a later date, the defense lawyer or insurance claims adjuster will be able to point to the misdiagnosis and argue that it was the correct estimate instead.
If you find yourself trapped between a brain injury and a professional who doesn’t particularly care about your health, then it’s time you got some professional help of your own: a personal injury lawyer. If you live in Florida, particularly in the southwest, then you should call the law offices of , Goldman, Babboni, and Walsh. Our firm has a combined legal experience of over 150 years, and we are ready and willing to use that knowledge to represent your interests against insurance companies, businesses, and individuals alike.