Life Expectancy & Quality of Life for TBI VictimsMay 11, 2017
More than 5.3 million Americans are currently living with disabilities caused by traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). This roughly equates to 1 in every 60 Americans living with a TBI-related impairment.1
These impairments can include a range of disabilities, including any combination of the following, depending on the location and severity of the brain injury:
- Speech and comprehension problems
- Memory impairments
- Mobility and coordination problems
- Vision and perception impairments
- Mood disorders.
Understanding how to treat these disabilities and the underlying TBI can be key to prolonging survivors’ life expectancies while improving their quality of life.
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Life Expectancies for TBI Survivors
The life expectancy for a TBI survivor will depend on various factors, like (but not limited to):
- The area(s) of the brain that was injured
- The extent of these injuries
- The age and gender of the survivor
- Whether the survivor has other health issues or impairments
- The nature and quality of the treatment(s) received.
In general, longer life expectancies are associated with TBI survivors who:2
- Have mild to moderate TBIs – Survivors who are conscious, able to self-feed, and can move around on their own tend to have better prognoses and life expectancies than TBIs survivors who are in vegetative states, need help feeding, or cannot walk on their own.
- Are younger and/or have no other health impairments – TBI survivors who are younger than 50 and who are not living with any competing health complications tend to live longer than survivors who are older than 50 and who do have other health problems.
- Have access to treatment and follow through with all necessary treatment(s) – TBIs tend to be most responsive to treatment within weeks to months of the injury. If TBI survivors are able to get the proper treatments immediately (and continue with these treatments), they are far more likely to experience longer life expectancies.
Here, it’s important to point out that:
- A doctor can provide more specific information about your TBI prognosis (after examining your condition and medical records).
- Improvements in diagnosing and treating TBIs over recent years have led to improved life expectancies for TBI survivors. Over the last decade alone, life expectancies for TBI survivors have increased by about 2.5 years.3
What Is the Quality of Life for TBI Survivors?
TBI survivors’ quality of life will also depend on a number of factors. In addition to those listed above (for life expectancies), other factors that can impact the quality of life can include:
- How soon TBI treatments are received
- Whether there are any gaps in treatment(s)
Generally, quality of life after TBI (QOLIBRI) is evaluated according to the following five factors:4
- Cognitive/thinking abilities
- Physical impairments
- Emotion, mood, and feelings
- Independence (or the lack thereof) in daily life
- Social relationships and interactions.
These factors are further broken down into 37 subcategories. In evaluating a TBI patient and his quality of life, medical professionals will:
- Assign a 1 to 5 score for each subcategory.
- Add up all of the scores and average them to create a “mean” QOLIBRI score.
The higher that the mean QOLIBRI score is, the better the quality of life for a TBI survivor is.
Picking Up the Pieces: Financial Recovery for TBI Survivors
Medical professionals and treatments are integral to improving life expectancies and quality of life for TBI survivors. In terms of financial recoveries, lawyers are essential.
- Identifying the liable party or parties
- Explaining the financial recovery options
- Pursuing all available legal remedies.
Though money cannot erase the impacts of TBIs, compensation can be important in helping victims get the treatments they need to maximize their quality of life and life expectancy.
Get Experienced Help Recovering from a TBI: Contact a Houston Brain Injury Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston brain injury lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to review your potential claim and explain your options for recovery.
Our attorneys are dedicated to helping TBI survivors get on the path to compensation and justice.
1: According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA)
2: According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
3: According to the International Brain Injury Association (IBIA)
4: According to the National Institute on Disability & Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)