Concussion And TBI Diagnosis Set To Improve In Minneapolis
In a development that’s very good news for the thousands of new traumatic brain injury cases which occur in Minnesota every year, the Food and Drug Administration approved a product that should streamline the diagnosis process and make it much more accurate to boot.
Currently, most hospitals use a two-step diagnostic approach. After a staff member administers the 15-point Glasgow Coma Scale, which is not too much more advanced than asking questions like “what day is it,” a tech runs a CT scan to spot brain lesions and other physical injuries. Banyan Biomarkers’ new Brain Trauma Indicator is a simple blood test that’s up to 99 percent accurate, even if the victim has no brain lesions. The company developed the test in cooperation with the Department of Defense, so it has both civilian and military applications.
“A blood-testing option for the evaluation of [these injuries] not only provides health care professionals with a new tool, but also sets the stage for a more modernized standard of care for testing of suspected cases,” remarked FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
Brain Injury Diagnosis Issues
TBIs account for about 1.4 million Emergency Room visits a year in the United States, and experts believe that three or four times that number of people may sustain a brain injury yet seek no medical help.
Prompt and accurate diagnosis is critical with regard to any illness, and that is the one element lacking from the TBI protocol at many Minneapolis-area medical facilities. The issues are even more pronounced if the victim does not completely lose consciousness and exhibit other classic head injury symptoms.
This uncertainty opens the door to misdiagnosis. Among younger victims, doctors often misdiagnose TBIs as shock or stress from the accident. If the victim is over 65, some doctors dismiss brain injury symptoms as early-onset dementia or another age-related condition.
As a result, many TBI victims do not get the treatment they need until they begin exhibiting more advanced symptoms, such as:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears),
- Personality changes, and
- Chronic severe headaches.
All these symptoms make it difficult or impossible for the victim to function at work, in school, or at home.
Brain injuries are degenerate. The aforementioned symptoms shortly give way to memory loss and other such problems. Furthermore, brain injuries are permanent. The only treatment is extended physical therapy, and this treatment approach sometimes comes with its own problems, as outlined below.
Damages Available in Minnesota Brain Injury Cases
Doctors believe that there is a direct relationship between therapy length and recovery level. In other words, the more physical therapy sessions a victim receives, the better the long-term results.
But there is a problem as far as insurance companies are concerned. Physical therapy progress often comes in fits and starts. So, if a victim goes several weeks or months without apparent progress, the insurance company sometimes tries to stop paying for medical care. An experienced attorney can connect victims with a qualified brain injury physical therapist who can give compelling testimony in court about the need for further therapy.
Physical therapy is expensive. Fortunately, brain injury victims in Minneapolis can receive compensation for their medical bills and other economic losses, even if they have pre-existing conditions. Compensation is also available for pain and suffering and other noneconomic losses.
Partner With an Aggressive Attorney
Proper TBI diagnosis and treatment are critical to recovery. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Minnesota, contact the Gunther Law Office. We do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.