West Virginia residents who experience mild traumatic brain injuries might need to see a specialist within six months. Otherwise, some of those people may experience an unfavorable outcome, according to a recent study that examined patients recruited at trauma centers between 2013 and 2015. Unlike most studies of its kind, this one differentiated between patients who were hospitalized and those who were not. This is significant because patients who are hospitalized tend to be more seriously injured. They also have different guidelines for follow-up care. Patients who are not hospitalized are generally only advised to seek recurring care if they have ongoing problems.
The study had a total of 1,151 participants, and 60 percent of those were hospitalized. On average, participants reported five symptoms two weeks after they were injured. The most commonly reported symptoms were poor concentration, dizziness, fatigue, a need for more sleep and headaches. Whether or not the patient had been hospitalized appeared to be unrelated.
After six months, 61 percent of hospitalized patients and 46 percent of non-hospitalized patients still had one symptom. Most patients were completely or almost completely recovered after six months. For 22 percent of patients, there was a moderate disability; for 8 percent, the disability was severe.
A person who suffers a head injury in an accident may not fully realize the extent of the damage until several weeks or months after the incident. This may cause issues for a victim injured in accident caused by another party. The victim might accept compensation that is too low or even refuse compensation without realizing the full extent of the injury. Therefore, people with this type of injury might want to consult a lawyer about how to proceed.