By Angela

When Doctors Hurt, Instead of Help

A. Mistakes Made by ER/Urgent Care Doctors

B. The Chiropractic Experience

C. Neuropsychologists

1. Dr. Twittworth, Neuropsychologist


How extensive of a problem is TBI?

Research indicates that there will be approximately 1.4 million TBI-related death, hospitalizations and ER visits annually. An estimated 75 – 90% of these injuries will be concussions or other forms of MTBI. We have no way of knowing how many more individuals sustain an MTBI per year and are neither seen at a hospital, nor receive any kind of medical treatment. Of the wartime casualties admitted to Walter Reed Army Medical Center/Bethesda Medical Center, up to 60% may be suffering some level of brain injury. Although these MTBI symptoms appear mild, they can lead to life-long disabilities.

Based upon an article which appeared in the Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation in 1999, the CDC estimates that “at least 5.3 million Americans, approximately 2% of the US population, currently have a long-term or lifelong need for help to perform activities of daily living as a result of a TBI.” The US population at the time of this writing in 2008 is approximately 305 million. This means there are now about 6.1 million people suffering long-term effects of traumatic brain injury. This staggering figure is why TBI has been referred to as “the silent epidemic.”

Because physicians can decrease the negative effects through early diagnosis and treatment, it is important for doctors to keep up current on TBI research. Far too many doctors fail to keep up with the changing information, despite the CDC’s efforts to educate them through the development of a tool kit for doctors called “Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice.”

In the following sections, I will be sharing my experiences with numerous doctors. I will point out some of the common mistakes that doctors make which causes them to misdiagnose or under-diagnose TBI. Later, I will make some suggestions about what a person can do to keep from becoming victim to these costly mistakes. Sadly, though, doctors need to take responsibility and become better educated. For many doctors, however, their arrogance keeps them from growing and learning.

Sources

Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice – A Tool Kit for Physicians. 14 June 2007. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 13 Oct 2008. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/physicians_tool_kit.htm&gt;

TBI Home page. 23 Sept 2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. 13 Oct 2008. <http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/tbi/TBI.htm&gt;

Thurman D, Alverson C, Dunn K, Guerrero J, Sniezek J. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: a public health perspective. Journal of Head Trauma and Rehabilitation 1999; 14(6): 602-15.

© Angela Cramer, 2008

Clipart is the property of Jupiterimages made available through subscription:
© Jupiterimages Corporation, 2008 www.clipart.com


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