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Diffuse Axonal Injury - Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a common and usually severe form of traumatic brain injury. The brain moving back and forth within the skull at high speed causes it, rather than a blow to the head. When the brain suddenly accelerates or decelerates, damage can occur over a widespread, or "diffuse' area. Although the amount of damage may vary in severity, DAI is a leading cause of death related to traumatic brain injury.

Car and motorcycle accidents, shaken baby syndrome, falls and sports injuries can all cause diffuse axonal injury. The part of the brains nerve cells, known as axons, are sheared from tissue sliding over tissue, causing lesions to form, resulting in unconsciousness. Swelling of the brain may occur as brain cells die. The increased pressure from the swelling may cause a reduction in blood flow, leading to additional injury.

DAI Diagnosis and Treatment

A leading symptom of DAI is unconsciousness that lasts several hours or more. Even in mild cases, other symptoms may occur depending upon the damaged area of the brain. Certain tests, including Evoked Potential, which looks at the visual, sensory and auditory paths of the brain, as well as Magnetic Resource imaging (MRI), CT Scan and Electroencephalogram (EEG), are used for diagnosing the condition. The EEG measures the electrical activity of the brain.

Surgery is not an option for an individual who suffered a diffuse axonal injury. The objective for treatment is stabilization by procedures to reduce swelling to prevent further damage. In most cases, this treatment employs steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs. Once stable, the patient undergoes long-term rehabilitation. The traumatic brain recovery program involves a team of doctors, nurses, and specialists, which may include physical, speech, occupational and recreational therapists. Counseling should also be part of the recovery program.

DAI Prognosis

With severe cases of diffuse axonal injury the prognosis is rarely positive. Approximately 90% of DAI survivors never regain consciousness and those that do face a lifetime of impairment and disability. The long-term effects may never be known until time progresses. In mild to moderate cases, the level of physical, mental and emotional debilitation can range from minimal to life altering. Being prepared financially for a lifetime of recovery and special needs is crucial. A person who suffered a diffuse axonal injury may never be able to work again, let alone in their chosen occupation, due to mental and physical limitations. They may even be dependent on others to perform basic tasks. The resulting loss of income over a lifetime, coupled with the cost of long-term medical treatment, rehabilitation and special needs can be immense.

Receiving Compensation for Diffuse Axonal Injury

If the injury was due to the negligence or malice of another person or entity, an experienced and skilled traumatic brain injury lawyer is a valuable asset an individual who suffered diffuse axonal injury. The lawyer can help the victim recover financial losses and be adequately compensated for future losses, diminished quality of life, pain and suffering and more. It is unfortunately common that victims of a traumatic head injury such as DAI become victims a second time by accepting a settlement that is far below the true value of the injury. Loss of income for a lifetime and future expenses can total in the millions of dollars. An experienced brain injury attorney will take all losses and suffering into consideration and aggressively pursue the largest compensatory award possible. The law firm will possess the resources required to front the cost of the case including hiring medical specialists, accident reconstruction experts and occupational therapists to support the case.

Vititoe Law Group has successfully recovered substantial awards for victims of traumatic brain injuries including DAI. We understand the emotional, mental and physical disabilities associated with a severe brain injury and the enormous cost over a lifetime. We are here for a free consultation to anyone who suffered, or has a loved one who suffered, from a traumatic brain injury by the negligence of another. If you or a loved one were injured, call today at 818-991-8900, or contact us online, and get the help you deserve today.

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