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What To Do After A Traumatic Brain Injury

Smailing child holding multi-color painted palms of his hands up to the viewerYour loved one has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury ("TBI"). What do you do now? Where do you start?

Once the diagnosis of TBI has been made, your treating physician/neurologist should be the first source of answers. Are there resources or support groups she would recommend? Some doctors will no doubt be more willing to provide information and resources for traumatic brain injury support than others.

It is important, as with all medical conditions, to gather as much information as possible about the situation and condition. This might involve keeping a journal or diary, or a notebook compiling the information you are able to discover. This can be a good resource when visiting with doctors, too. Consider taking a family member or friend along with you when you are seeking TBI programs to help you digest the information and reflect when making a decision. Your friend or family member may also ask questions of the expert that you may not have considered.

The negative effects that occur because of the emotional, physical, cognitive and social symptoms can be reduced, even if the underlying injury cannot be repaired. Consider:

  • Medications. Some of the symptoms that were triggered by the brain injury can be treated with medications. For example, headaches are common after TBI, and sometimes prescription medications are available to help when over-the-counter remedies don't work.
  • Therapy. Some problems can be treated with therapies, such as physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychotherapy.
  • Cognitive Rehab. Cognitive rehabilitation programs have been shown to help many people function better after a TBI.
  • Occupational Rehab. The person with cognitive problems will need to learn new ways of conducting activities of daily living (within their limitations), doing things to live life as well as possible. Occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and neuropsychologists can help to teach the injured person various techniques that can help compensate for losses. These are known as "accommodations."
  • Support groups. People with brain injuries may be helped by sharing with other people, including their experiences and some of the solutions they've found in living life after TBI. Self-help groups are available in many communities and can be located through the state Brain Injury Association.

Learn more about what to legal steps you can take after a TBI diagnosis

Contact a Brain Lawyer

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