Injury to one of the most important parts of our body, the brain stem, can have serious health repercussions, both physical and mental. An accident that causes brain stem injury can render a person paralyzed, cause memory loss, and in some cases, prove to be fatal. Since the brain stem performs important functions, living or working without its contribution can be difficult for the survivor.
What is a Brain Stem?
The brain stem, a part of our body that connects our brain with the spinal cord, performs vital functions. Even though it is a very small component of the brain, it plays a crucial role in bodily functions. These include breathing, blood circulation, consciousness, heat regulation, and heart regulation.
Apart from this, the brain stem provides the sensory and motor nerve supply to our face and neck. Most of the communication from the body to the brain happens through the brain stem, making it almost impossible for us to survive if this part gets damaged.
There are three regions that make up the brain stem namely, the midbrain, the pons and the medulla oblongata of the hindbrain.
Causes of Brain Stem Injuries
The most reported cause of brain stem injuries is motor accidents affecting people of all ages. This can be controlled to an extent by wearing helmets on bikes and seat belts in cars which reduces two extreme motions responsible for brain stem injury.
Another cause of the injury is falling from high places like a ladder or tree. People involved in various kinds of sports and recreation are also prone to this.
Various lifestyle diseases can also lead to brain stem damage. People with a history of high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and drug use may need to take extra care. It is always better to consult a doctor, especially after an accident, to ensure that things are under control.
Watch Out for These Symptoms
Keep an eye open for the symptoms of brain stem injury if you have had an accident. The major symptoms include irregular breathing, repetitive eye movements, loss of reflexes, loss of sense of smell, and fixation of pupils to light. You may have a single symptom or a combination of two or more. You may also end up with a condition called locked-in syndrome where you can move only the eye muscles and nothing else.
Treating Brain Stem Injury
A person who has injured the brain stem may go through a lot of mental, physical, and emotional problems. Some cases require surgery usually done by a neurosurgeon. Other treatments may include psychological counseling, physical therapy, and speech therapy. The effects of the injury are not only on the body but also on the mind. Counseling sessions will bring about emotional strength to the patient which in turn will help in physical recovery too.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Today
After you have overcome the initial shock of an injury due to an accident, have a word with an experienced brain injury attorney. If your misfortune is caused by somebody’s negligence, the attorney can ensure a huge compensation for you. If you have suffered a brain stem injury, contact the attorneys at Jonathan R. Brockman law offices today to schedule a consultation.