A study currently underway in Scotland is examining whether reducing the body temperature immediately after injury will help reduce the long-term disabilities associated with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Traumatic brain injuries often result from a blow to the head or an object piercing the skull, both of which are risks in a wide range of accidents, from car crashes to workplace incidents. When a traumatic brain injury occurs, the brain may bruise, swell, or bleed, raising the pressure on the brain. Serious disabilities can result from brain damage inflicted either in the initial injury or from the increased pressure inside the skull.
The study will examine whether lowering a TBI patient’s body temperature will reduce the long-term disabilities that can result from a severe head injury. The study is based on the understanding that lowering the body’s temperature can induce a state of hibernation, in which the brain can survive on a reduced blood supply. By lowering the body temperature, swelling and bleeding in the brain is also reduced.
Patients who are treated as part of the study will have their body temperatures lowered to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or below, inducing hypothermia for a short period. They will be carefully monitored during and after the cooling process.
Immediate treatment for TBI offers the best hope of a full recovery, but many brain injury patients suffer lingering symptoms for months or years after the injury. If you’ve suffered a head injury in an accident of any kind, you have certain legal rights under Kentucky law. A skilled Kentucky TBI attorney can help you understand your rights and choose the best options for you.