Brain injuries are common in car crashes, slip-and-fall accidents and other traumatic events. In fact, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, there are nearly 3 million traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. every single year.
Among all possible TBIs, a brain stem injury is one of the more severe. If you have a brain stem injury, you may wonder whether it is possible to make a full recovery. Sadly, the odds may not be in your favor.
What is the brain stem?
Your brain stem connects your brain to your spinal cord, making it indispensable. Indeed, the brain stem plays a role in virtually everything you do. It also keeps you alive by regulating breathing, blood pressure and other automatic bodily functions.
What are the symptoms of a brain stem injury?
If you have a brain stem injury, you are likely to know there is something wrong. Still, you should get to the hospital immediately if you notice any of the following after hitting your head:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizziness, headaches or balance problems
- Paralysis or inability to control your movements
- Difficulty breathing, coughing or gagging
- Loss of consciousness
What is your prognosis?
You cannot live without your brain stem, and a serious brain stem injury may not be treatable. If you have a less severe injury, though, your prognosis likely depends on both the nature of your injury and your overall health. Nevertheless, receiving prompt medical attention may increase your chances of surviving and recovering.
Ultimately, because diagnosing and treating a brain stem injury can be almost unbelievably expensive, it may be necessary to pursue financial compensation from the person who is responsible for it.