Missed and underdiagnosed brain injuries at critical levels
Brain Injury Center recently interviewed Mr Tom Goudkamp OAM, a high profile personal injury lawyer who specialises in accidential brain injury compensation cases globally. Mr Goudkamp is alarmed by the rising numbers of missed and undiagnosed accidential brain injuries.
As Managing Director of Stacks Goudkamp Personal Injury Lawyers, Sydney Australia, Mr Goudkamp is concerned that TBIs are frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed by the medicos.
Often there is no mention of brain injury, or even a head injury, in the ambulance or hospital records.
Admitting doctors reasonably concentrate on the obvious and possibly life threatening injuries like broken limbs and bleeding lacerations, and don't have the time or possibly the expertise to identify a TBI.
Patients are often discharged without the patients themselves realising that in addition to other more obvious injuries they also have a TBI.
The morbid consequences of a TBI may not actually manifest themselves for weeks or months as the focus is on recovering from the more obvious injuries. However gradually those close to the accident victim start to notice the changes in personality, stamina, cognition and behaviour.
This can cause strain on relationships as the sufferer becomes increasingly moody, aggressive and generally difficult to get along with - all of which are compounded by the accident victim's lack of insight.
Accident victims with TBI risk becoming disconnected from their family and friends. They generally can't cope with a return to work even though their other more obvious injuries have subsided. Jobs are lost. Financial strain adds to their misery.
Busy GPs lack the time or patience to look into the possibility of a TBI to explain their patient's changed behaviour and be inclined to simply put it down to psychological factors. It can be a nightmare.
As a consequence rehabilitation is often denied, or is provided too late to be effective.
An experienced counsellor, psychologist or lawyer who understands TBI will know the vicious circle that a TBI can cause, and can explain the types of doctors and effective treatment that the injured person needs for the brain injury to be properly evaluated.