As a largely personal injury blog, we often discuss the various scenarios where you may be impacted by another’s negligence. And, we focus some of our Baton Rouge, Louisiana, legal blog posts on the injuries that result, like traumatic brain injuries. However, one aspect we have not touched on thus far are some of the complications of TBIs.
Altered consciousness and perceptions
Regardless of the severity of the TBI, you could experience altered consciousness and perceptions. This can refer to your awareness and responsiveness, your perception of your surroundings and even how you interact with those around you.
For example, a mild TBI could cause auditory, vision and other perception issues, like ringing in your ears, foul tastes in your mouth, blurred visions, etc. You could also experience rapid mood swings, anxiety and severe personality changes that are only perceptible to those around you.
A severe TBI could cause prolonged unconsciousness, like a coma. In this state, you would be unable to respond to any external stimuli, communicate with your loved ones or even be aware of anything. Comas lasts hours, days or years. Depending on the nature and severity of your coma, your family may need to make a decision on how long to keep you on life support. However, sometimes, after a few weeks, you enter a vegetative state, if you do not awaken on your own.
Next phase, a vegetative state
Depending on the severity of the TBI, a persistent coma can transition into a vegetative state. In this state, while you are still not aware of what is happening around you, your body could show signs of consciousness, like blinking, making sounds, reflexes, basic responses to external stimuli and movements. Often, if your body progresses to this state, you will transition to a minimally conscious state, if your vegetative state does not become permanent.
The minimally conscious state
The minimally conscious state is another level of awareness above a coma and vegetative state. In this state, your consciousness is still severely altered, and you are still not fully aware of your surroundings. The will show some self-awareness, and this can be a sign of your brain recovering.
For those that do not make progress, the coma may progress to brain death, where all measurable activities in your brain cease. Currently, this is an irreversible condition, and life support is usually terminated at some point.