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Mild TBI and symptoms after six months

Some people in Pennsylvania who have sustained mild traumatic brain injuries may still suffer symptoms six months later. A recent study looked at 1,151 patients with mild traumatic brain injury, approximately 60 percent of whom were hospitalized. Studies of this kind usually don't separate patients by whether or not they were hospitalized, but those who were have usually suffered more serious injuries. Follow-up protocols differ for patients who were hospitalized. These individuals are advised to return for follow-up appointments. However, those who weren't admitted to the hospital are usually told they do not need to return for outpatient care unless they have ongoing issues.

The study found little difference in symptoms between hospitalized and nonhospitalized patients at the two-week mark. Both groups reported an average of five symptoms, the most common of which were fatigue, a need for more sleep, poor concentration, dizziness and headaches.

After six months, 46 percent of the nonhospitalized patients and 61 percent of those who had been experienced at least one symptom. Nearly 45 percent of the nonhospitalized patients and 80 percent of the hospitalized ones had seen a specialist. Most of the people at that stage had mostly or fully recovered, but 22 percent still suffered a moderate disability. Eight percent of the patients were severely impaired.

One issue with liability in a case that involves a brain injury is a potential delay in symptoms or an incomplete understanding of how serious it is. As this study demonstrates, even a mild traumatic brain injury may lead to disability. A person who suffers a head injury may want to consult an attorney. A lawyer may advise him or her to not waive the chance to get sufficient compensation if the brain injury ends up being more severe than it was initially believed to be.

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