Brain injuries are very complicated partially because they can manifest in different ways from one case to the next. There are many important questions to ask in the wake of brain trauma. Where was the injury suffered? How severe was it? How did it occur? How quickly did the person get medical care? The answers to all of these questions can help to determine the severity of that injury and a patient’s best course of treatment.
People who have suffered from a brain injury may understandably wonder whether it’s going to lower their life expectancy, especially if the trauma they’ve suffered is severe. Perhaps they were injured in a car accident. They survived the initial injury and they now want to know about the long-term ramifications. Is their life going to be shorter because of this injury, even if the crash itself wasn’t defined as a fatal accident?
The loss of nine years
Unfortunately, studies have found that life expectancy drops by about nine years if someone has suffered either a moderate or severe traumatic brain injury. This happens even if a patient is receiving rehabilitative services.
The primary reason for this is that certain causes of death become more likely in the wake of a TBI. For example, someone who has suffered a TBI is 50 times more likely to pass away from a seizure than someone who has not. They are also 11 times more likely to pass away from drug poisoning and nine times more likely to pass away from infections. Even a disease like pneumonia becomes six times as deadly as it would be if someone had not suffered a traumatic brain injury.
It is unquestionable that the health of many TBI victims improves significantly over time but it’s also clear that they can suffer significant complications down the road. Those who have been injured or who have lost a loved one due to a TBI need to be well aware of these risks when pursuing justice in the event that their trauma was caused by the actions or inactions of another. This information can help to inform the amount of compensation to which an individual is entitled and may influence how they approach their lifestyle and medical moving forward as well.