Individuals young and old who experience a traumatic brain injury need to seek medical attention immediately following the accident to receive essential care. Their doctor can manage the condition, but unfortunately, one recent report indicates significant gaps exist in follow-up appointments for people who have experienced such injuries.
Long-term symptoms of head trauma include difficulty making new memories, slurred speech patterns and chronic confusion. A sufferer can manage many of these symptoms if he or she seeks prompt medical treatments. This involves more than seeing a doctor once. The doctor and patient should remain proactive about scheduling follow-up appointments so that one incident does not impact a person throughout life.
Seth A. Seabury, Ph.D., who works for the University of Southern California, conducted a study of 831 individuals who had to complete follow-up surveys two weeks and three months following the initial visit to the doctor. The research found that less than half of these patients received any kind of educational material related to traumatic brain injuries in the first three months after the accident. The study also showed that 44 percent of patients saw a professional physician or another health care provider in the first three months of the event, which is the most important time to limit the long-term side effects of a concussion.
Educating the public
While there is much medical providers can do to offer TBI sufferers, the public needs to become more aware of the seriousness of head trauma. Even when people receive a mild concussion diagnosis, they believe the word “mild” means it is nothing to worry about. The reality of the matter is that significant symptoms, including memory loss, vision loss and migraines, can still occur even with a mild concussion. There are limitations to the study in question, such as the fact people who suffered a traumatic brain injury may not be able to recall details of follow-up care. Both doctors and patients require better tools to better deal with TBI.