Brain injuries, both nonfatal and fatal, are common for those who work in construction. These injuries occur when there is a violent jolt or blow to the head that causes damage to the brain tissues.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discusses that common causes of traumatic brain injuries in the industry include falls from heights and getting hit by flying or falling objects. The effects of these injuries, and the type of treatment required, depend on the severity and location of the injury.
Varying degrees of severity
Johns Hopkins Medicine states that a traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate or severe. A minor injury may result in a mild concussion, headaches, slight confusion and fatigue for a few days to a week. More severe injuries may result in a loss of consciousness as well as long-term symptoms and disability.
Potential long-term effects
There are generally no long-term effects for those suffering from a mild TBI. However, those with moderate and severe injuries may have physical, sensory, cognitive, social, communication and behavioral changes that require ongoing care and rehabilitation.
Treatment and rehabilitation
Those suffering from minor TBIs may not require treatment except for extra rest and over-the-counter medication to manage symptoms. Patients with severe brain injuries generally require immediate treatment in the form of medication and surgery to minimize secondary injury, stabilize important bodily functions and prevent death.
Most patients with moderate and severe TBIs will need in- and outpatient rehab to relearn basic skills and retrain nerve function. Some of the rehab specialists include:
- Physical therapist
- Speech and language pathologist
- Occupational therapist
- Social worker
Some patients may only require rehab services for a few months after the accident, while others may need it for years.