As evidence builds around the long-term effects of concussions, studies are emerging showing that patients with moderate to severe TBIs fall off the radar within three months of their diagnosis. A new study found that 48 percent of people suffering from three or more moderate to severe TBI symptoms did not return for follow up care.
All patients in the study had brain scans confirming a mild TBI. Healthcare professionals sent roughly one-third of the patients in the study home from the emergency room. Additionally, hospitals admitted 44 percent of patients and another 22 percent to intensive care units.
The study also found that only 42 percent of discharged patients received educational materials. Additionally, only 27 percent of patients with TBIs received a call from the hospital for a check-up within two weeks.
Most patients who seek follow-care said it was helpful. However, low rates of follow-up care don’t necessarily mean patients had unmet medical needs. It’s possible some people fully recovered from the injuries and didn’t need additional treatment.
But, the study found that even people admitted into ICU didn’t always get follow-up care. Because of this, the researchers concluded that many patients did have unmet medical needs.
Follow-up Care with Less Severe Brain Injuries
Generally, hospitals almost always admit patients with moderate to severe brain injuries. However, there is less consensus among healthcare professionals about the best way to manage people with less severe head injuries. A full recovery occurs when a TBI patient is able to resume usual daily activities such as school, work and exercise without concussion symptoms.
Even when TBIs are mild or less severe, they can still lead to lasting physical, psychiatric and cognitive problems. These problems can lead to impairment or disability, especially when people do not receive proper treatment.
The Carlson Law Firm Can Help
When hospitals or trauma centers discharge a patient, it does not mean that they have fully recovered. TBIs are relatively common injuries, affecting 2 million to 5 million Americans each year. Further, brain injuries can lead to lifelong physical and cognitive changes.