Brain Injury Prognosis
It is hard to predict the outcome of a traumatic brain injury in the first hours of the injury. It can even take weeks following the injury. This is why brain injury prognosis is a difficult task.
In general, the longer a coma lasts, the less likely of a full recovery. It will also determine the complexity of the recovery. The specific nature and location of the damage must be considered as well as other physical injuries. Sometimes there are “miraculous” recoveries from very severe injuries. Other times there may be very poor recoveries from less extensive injuries. Every brain injury is different. Even though the brain injury prognosis may be similar there are not any two the same.
The full brain injury prognosis may be hard to measure for months or even years. The doctor will usually answer this question with “wait and see.” This is a difficult answer to accept. It is often the most accurate, since each brain injury is unique. There are many factors that will determine the quality and quantity of recovery. Some of these factors are age, physical condition and the presence or absence of prior trauma to the brain.
It was once thought that the recovery was fairly complete after a year or two. We now believe that recovery can continue throughout the survivor’s life. The survivor generally recovers to a point and then reaches a plateau.The plateau is where little or no progress is made. They may remain at this plateau or after a period of time. Then start to show progress with some of their issues they incurred from the injury.
The medical community has made tremendous gains. There is still much to learn about brain swelling and its management and the prognosis of brain injury.