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15 Year Finnish Study Finds Premature Death Risk Associated with Previous Head Trauma

Posted By Regan Zambri & Long || 12-Feb-2015

A new research study, Head trauma with or without mild brain injury increases the risk of future traumatic death: A controlled prospective 15-year follow-up study, published in the January issue of the Journal of Neurotrauma, suggests that any serious head injury, with or without brain impact, can lead to an "increased risk of future traumatic death."

Since 1999, researchers at Oulu University Hospital in Finland have been following traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients to determine their long-term health outcomes. They chose subjects based on hospital admittance for head injuries. All subjects lived in Northern Ostrobothnia, south of Oulu, and the control group had similar characteristics to the test group.

The researchers evaluated cause of death and death rates to compare the two groups and found stark differences between test group mortality rates and control group mortality rates:

  •  Moderate/severe traumatic brain injury: test — 56.9%; control — 6.7%
  • Mild traumatic brain injury: test — 18.6%; control — 1.4%
  • Head injury/no traumatic brain injury: test — 23.8%; control — 1.9%

The Finnish researches concluded that head trauma highly predicts an increased risk of death. Scientists who participated in the study cite a need for further evaluation to determine causation. Just because they found a correlation between TBI and a spike in all cause mortality, in other words, does not mean they figured out what might be driving this association.

Brain injuries may develop immediately after trauma, or problems may take days to present. Car accidents, sports injuries, and slip and falls all contribute to thousands of cases of serious TBI in the U.S. every year. Seek medical advice if you or a loved one has experienced any type of head trauma, even "mild" damage or a "light" concussion.

If you suspect that you or someone has sustained a TBI:

  •  Track and maintain awareness of your symptoms, including headache, nausea, cognitive difficulty, lack of awareness, dizziness, difficulty focusing your eyes, and other issues. Immediately contact a physician or hospital if you experience any of these symptoms. Determining the extent of neurological damage requires extensive testing.
  •  Follow the advice of your physician. Diverse treatment modalities might include taking medicines, undergoing rehab and surgery (especially in the first hours or days after a TBI event), focusing on psychological wellness and seeking support group advice.
  •  Keep good records. Your journey to recovery from a brain injury may require thorough records for court cases, insurance, and personal use. Keep a journal (or ask a loved one to do so on your behalf), and organize all test results and medical documentation.

Please get in touch with our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys today to explore how you can obtain fair compensation and justice in your potential case.

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