In our post last week we talked about some of the emergency care, medications and surgery that can be required to treat a traumatic brain injury. Once the brain injury patient is out of danger, long-term care begins. For most victims of serious traumatic brain injury, this means extensive and perhaps lifelong rehabilitation.
The brain injury patient’s rehabilitation will often begin at the hospital where he or she was initially admitted. After the patient leaves the hospital, rehabilitation can continue on an outpatient basis or at a residential treatment facility.
The type of rehabilitation and its duration will vary from case to case, depending on the severity of the injury and its location on the brain. Often a team of rehabilitation specialists works together on the patient’s care. A physiatrist, a doctor who specializes in rehabilitation, will typically oversee the entire process and prescribe any necessary medications.
Other specialists may include physical therapists, who can help the patient relearn walking, balance and movement. A neuropsychologist may be called in to evaluate cognitive problems and help the patient cope emotionally with their condition. An occupational therapist can help the patient learn skills necessary to earn a living and become at least somewhat self-sufficient.
All of this therapy is expensive and may not be completely covered by the victim’s health insurance. If the brain injury resulted from an accident caused by the negligence of another person, a personal injury lawsuit may provide a means of recovering compensation for rehabilitation and other medical expenses.
Source: mayoclinic.org, “Traumatic brain injury: Treatments and drugs,” accessed June 28, 2015