colorful image of brain

There are many injuries that you can sustain after getting into a serious accident. Depending on the type of accident you might endure broken bones, burns, spinal cord injuries, and more. One of the most dangerous types of injuries that can occur is a brain stem injury. If you or someone you know were injured in an accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact a Rockland County TBI lawyer to discuss the details of your situation and obtain skilled representation.

What is a Brain Stem Injury?

The brain stem is a part of the brain located at the base of your skull, connecting the brain and spinal cord. It is responsible for transporting messages through neural pathways and controlling critical subconscious functions that keep you alive. The brain stem controls the following and more.

  • Breathing
  • Consciousness
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Reflexes, e.g. sneezing, coughing, vomiting
  • Motor commands, e.g. chewing, swallowing, facial expressions, etc.
  • Equilibrium
  • Sleep

The brain stem is a vital part of the body. Any damage sustained could severely affect the above functions and more.

How Can Brain Stem Injuries Occur?

Brain stem injuries can occur for a variety of reasons. Autoimmune disorders, blood clots, tumors, and other underlying disorders can contribute to a brain stem injury. If you were involved in an accident it could also result in damage.

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can happen anytime a person gets hit on the head. Car accidents, slip and falls, and any other violent accident have the potential to result in severe brain damage including harm to the brain stem.

If a brain stem injury does occur there are various signs and symptoms that may hint at the injury. Depending on the severity of the accident, patients could experience the following after sustaining a TBI.

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble controlling movements and reflexes
  • Difficulty with motor commands
  • Issues with balance
  • Insomnia
  • Irregular heart rate
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis

What Are My Treatment Options?

Although brain stem injuries are extraordinarily serious and damaging, there are still treatment options for those who have sustained damage. The priority of any doctor dealing with a patient with a brain stem injury is to address any immediate concerns. They may need to find and stop any bleeding, give the patient oxygen, stabilize the neck, or perform emergency surgery to relieve pressure in the brain.

Once the patient is stable they have several rehabilitation options. Depending on the severity of the injury patients may be able to regain full control and make a complete recovery. They may benefit from physical therapy, speech therapy, or occupational therapy. This type of injury can be emotionally traumatizing, so working with a psychiatrist or mental health professional will also prove beneficial. With help from skilled professionals and friends and family, a patient can regain control of their body and life.