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Researchers link factors to brain injury deaths

When someone in Louisiana sustains a serious brain injury, the road to recovery can be a difficult and unpredictable one. In some cases, patients unexpectedly lose their lives several months or years after sustaining a traumatic brain injury (TBI). In an effort to find out why this sometimes happens, researchers looked at factors associated with mortality among patients 16 and older a year or more after their initial injury. Researchers evaluated data from more than a thousand decedents with TBIs to identify factors likely linked to their deaths.

When compared with data from more than 10,000 control subjects, the individuals who died from brain injuries had a poorer performance on all key factors considered. These included physical, psychological, and social functioning as determined by the Functional Independence Measure (FIM) assessment tool, patient status, level of disability, and satisfaction with life. A measurement of participation in community and functioning at the societal level was also considered.

The biggest difference with patients who didn't survive a year or more post-injury and those who did was in the level of independence with mobility and community participation. The study's co-author notes the need for more research on how health and lifestyle factors affect TBI victims. However, findings suggest that a better understanding of risk factors for death following a TBI may allow new strategies for prevention and early intervention to be implemented to improve quality of life for both TBI survivors and their caregivers and reduce the risk of patient death.

If compensation is sought following a traumatic brain injury, a personal injury lawyer can begin processing the claim in an attempt to identify possible responsible parties. An additional role of an attorney is to gather important medical information to determine costs that may be associated with long-term care of the patient and to develop a better understanding of their prognosis. A lawyer may also communicate directly with a client's insurance company and attempt to reach an acceptable settlement with responsible parties before recommending further legal steps.

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The Law Offices of W.A. “Chip” Forstall, Jr.

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