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Brain injury sufferers face high odds of rehospitalization

California residents may be interested to learn that, according to a recent study, those who have suffered traumatic brain injuries face a high likelihood of being rehospitalized. The study, conducted by the Brain Injury Association of America, found that 20 percent of all traumatic brain injury sufferers are rehospitalized within one to three years following their initial injury. That substantial rehospitalization rate affects not only those with the brain injury, but also their families, caretakers and medical staff.

Researchers conducted the study by examining 655 traumatic brain injury cases from four different inpatient rehabilitation facilities. They also conducted interviews with individuals who had suffered brain injuries within the past three years, as well as with the patients' families and caretakers. Rehospitalizations were categorized as either elective or nonelective. Elective rehospitalizations are for issues like bone and reconstructive surgery. Nonelective refers to seizures, mental disorders, infections and other serious medical conditions.

Researchers found that nearly 20 percent of all patients were rehospitalized every year. In the first year after traumatic brain injury, rehospitalizations were split evenly between elective and nonelective. In the subsequent years, rehospitalizations tended to skew more toward nonelective reasons. Seizures and mental disorders were found to be the most common causes for nonelective hospitalizations.

This study reconfirms the tremendous challenges that brain injury sufferers and their families face. A traumatic brain injury can often lead to a lifetime of costly medical care and a chronic inability to work and generate income. If an injury was suffered in an accident, the victim may be able to pursue financial compensation in court; they will likely have to estimate how much their ongoing care will cost in the future. A personal injury attorney can help with the careful medical, legal and financial analysis that is often necessary to make these estimates.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America, "Rehospitalization Rates: 20% for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injuries", December 07, 2014

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