About one in five people who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) will have one or more seizures. According to the Epilepsy Foundation, a seizure is a “sudden surge of electrical activity in the brain.” For a short time, a seizure may affect how a person acts and thinks. Seizures affect different people in different ways and may last for a few seconds, a minute, or even for 5 or 10 minutes.
During a seizure, a person may experience:
- Stiffening, shaking, or other strange movements of the body or its parts
- Staring and unresponsiveness
- Inability to speak or understand what others are saying
- Fumbling movements
- Lip-smacking or chewing
- Strange smells, tastes, feelings, or visions
- Bladder or bowel accidents
- Biting the tongue or inside of the mouth
Some people experience an aura, a warning, that a seizure is about to occur, but others don’t. Some people recover very quickly after a seizure, while it may take others several hours before they begin feeling like themselves again. After a severe seizure, which lasts over two minutes, it may take days or longer for a person to recover.
How Are Seizures Associated with TBI?
Seizures are more common in patients who experience moderate to severe TBI, particularly penetrating head injuries and subdural hematomas (a collection of blood outside the brain, which can cause a life-threatening increase in pressure on the brain). Seizures have been reported in as many as 3 or 4 out of 10 patients who suffer penetrating brain injuries. Younger patients who experience traumatic brain injuries are also at a higher risk of seizures.
When seizures continue to occur for a period of time, this condition is known as chronic epilepsy. The risk of chronic epilepsy is higher when seizures are experienced soon after a traumatic brain injury.
Seizures and chronic epilepsy may be treated with special medications called antiepileptic drugs, or AEDs, but these do not always work. If medication is ineffective, your doctor may refer you to an Epilepsy Center for further testing to analyze what’s causing your seizures and how to help you find relief.
Facing a Different Future
Seizures and chronic epilepsy are just two of the many effects of a traumatic brain injury. Patients may experience a range of consequences that affect every single aspect of their lives. This may include memory loss, personality changes, loss of speech or language skills, loss of fine motor skills, behavioral changes, and loss of cognitive skills.
Living with seizures and rebuilding after a brain injury can seem impossible. While it is true that you’re facing a different future, Asvar Law is here to help. Our Los Angeles injury attorneys fight for people who have been catastrophically injured at work or through no fault of their own. We pursue life-changing compensation to cover medical care, ongoing treatment, in-home care, lost earnings, loss of potential earnings, and so much more. We seek to hold at-fault parties accountable and fight for injured workers’ rights in a system that too often favors employers and their insurance providers. Our goal is always to improve our clients’ futures.