Is there such thing as mild TBI?

12 April 2017

Mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined by clinical criteria as follows: Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) 13 – 15, Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) < 1 day and loss of consciousness (LOC) 0 – 30 minutes . Approximately 1 million people attend hospital Accident and Emergency departments each year with a mild TBI. Patients are often discharged without admission for observation or adequate follow up arrangements. Only after the medium to longer term social consequences of mild TBI become apparent, such as difficulties at work or in the domestic and social environment, do these patients eventually come to the attention of the medical services once again. Typically, they may present with irritability or frank aggression, forgetfulness, inability to plan or organize, depression and anxiety, and personality change.

These impairments often cause long-term social isolation and can lead to an inability to function independently as pre-injury, and an inability to remain in work or progress a career. Public sector rehabilitation services are generally very sparse for the sufferers of mild TBI, and so it is all the more important that solicitors are aware of the role they can play in achieving appropriate compensation in such cases. In the words of a well-known PI barrister, “there’s no such thing as a mild TBI”!

Dr Edmund Bonikowski



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