Mild Traumatic Brain Injury in Persons With Multiple Trauma: The Problem Nf Delayed Diagnosis

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Though there is a consensus among many medical and rehabilitation professionals as to the symptoms indicative of mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), many individuals go undiagnosed for long periods of time after their injuries. Three case studies were performed in order to describe the process and timing of arriving at the diagnosis of MTBI. In individuals with multiple traumatic injuries, there is often a delay between injury and diagnosis. All three persons in this study were traumatically injured, married, white males in their 30's and 40's. One was injured in an industrial accident, and the other two in motor vehicle accidents. One was diagnosed with MTBI six months post injury, one was diagnosed 1 year 8 months post injury, and the individual who was injured in the industrial accident was not diagnosed for almost four years. Visibility and ease of treatment of orthopedic and tissue injuries, and the physicians' lack of premorbid knowledge of an individual's behavior may explain the lack of MTBI diagnosis. An implication for medical practice is the need to incorporate screening for TBI symptoms into post traumatic diagnostic routines. However, if persons with multiple traumatic injuries are not screened for MTBI during the acute stage after sustaining their injury(ies), they will often have contact with rehabilitation professionals before they leave the healthcare system entirely. These professionals could incorporate MTBI screening into the rehabilitation process, possibly catching those cases that have filtered through the system without being identified.

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