Brain injuries typically fall into two categories:
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or other type of closed head injury caused by a blow to the head. This may happen when a person is struck by a baseball bat, falls on an icy surface, is struck by falling debris in a store or hits a windshield in a car accident.
Hypoxic brain injury caused by a shortage of oxygen to the brain. This may happen as a result of anesthesia errors during surgery; as a result of a medication error; as a result of suffocation or as a result of birth injury. In mild cases, the person appears normal after a recovery period. In severe cases, a person ends up in a “vegetative state.”
Although a person with a closed head injury may appear to recover and improve over time, people who are close to the victim (close friend and families, coworkers and neighbors) may notice lasting effects such as the following:
Lingering pain or discomfort
Difficulty concentrating, speaking or making decisions
Inability to work as before
Careful evaluation of a brain injury victim over time by neuropsychologists and other professionals may allow for a reasonable prognosis for determination of future needs.