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Researchers identify factors linked to TBI deaths

Traumatic brain injuries are a frequent form of head injury and can affect everyone from players of contact sports to the victims of car and truck crashes. Nevada residents should know that TBIs often end in death and that the factors linked to these deaths were previously unknown. In September, though, the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation published a report detailing several physical, cognitive and psychosocial factors.

The research team included investigators from five regional TBI Model Systems. These model system researchers analyzed data in the TBI Model System National Data and Statistical Center and identified 1,163 chronic TBI sufferers aged 16 and older who died from their injury. They also identified 10,839 matched controls.

What they measured was patients' functionality (with the Functional Independence Measure tool), degree of recovery (with the Extended Glasgow Outcome Scale), functioning at the social level (with the Participation Assessment with Recombined Tool Objective), disability rating and satisfaction with life. Most of the decedents fared poorly across all measurements.

In particular, researchers found that differences in Functional Independence Measure showed how independence of mobility is a critical factor in whether a TBI sufferer will survive or not. With further research into the health and lifestyle factors in TBI sufferers, experts may be able to develop strategies for prevention and early intervention.

Treatments for brain injuries can be expensive, but those who incurred the injury in a preventable accident may be able to receive damages that cover those expenses in addition to lost wages and pain and suffering. This means filing a personal injury claim against the negligent party. A lawyer might assist by hiring investigators to gather proof and medical experts to determine the extent of the injuries. The lawyer may then negotiate with the other side for a settlement or litigate if one cannot be achieved.

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