In the past, medical advice for victims who suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) was simple: the patient should receive lots of rest. Despite medical evidence that suggested that movement helped victims with other types of injuries recover more quickly, no similar evidence existed that showed movement to be equally beneficial to TBI victims or other brain injury victims. In fact, it was believed by some that physical activity could deprive the brain of much needed blood flow, actually hurting the patient and prolonging his or her recovery. These traditional assumptions were challenged when several nurses at the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurointensive Care Unit decided to conduct their own study about the benefits of movement and activity may provide to TBI patients.
Three nurses decided to monitor over 600 of their TBI patients over the course of a year. Half of the patients would be woken up out of bed (no small feat in some cases) as soon as possible while the other patients were treated according to the traditional assumptions concerning treating brain injuries. The nurses found that those patients that got up and moved around early spent less time in the intensive care unit, had less infections, and spent less time using a ventilator. This led the nurses and others to conclude that movement is able to help the injured brain form new connections, thus speeding recovery and rehabilitation.
Limits on the Findings from the Cleveland Clinic
The nurses that participated in the study at the Cleveland Clinic readily admit that more research is needed to determine if movement is beneficial for all types of brain injuries. And although the study suggests that movement helps the brain “rewire” itself after an injury, how it does so – or whether other methods of treatment are equally or more helpful in encouraging the “rewiring” process – is also unclear. Nevertheless, the findings from the Cleveland Clinic provide hope and encouragement for researchers and doctors looking for ways to help TBI victims and brain injury victims recover following their injuries.
If a loved one has been injured and suffered a traumatic brain injury, it is easy to feel helpless and pessimistic about your loved one’s future. After all, those who suffer severe Las Vegas brain injuries rarely fully recover from their injury but instead usually have some lingering problems or challenges as a result of the TBI. The study suggests that being able to help the TBI victim engage in familiar activities and experience familiar sights, sounds, and smells may help him or her recover more quickly. Talk to your loved one’s doctors about the benefits movement and activity may provide for your loved one.
The Las Vegas brain injuries law firm of Ladah Law, PLLC can help you and your family recover monetary compensation if your loved one’s TBI was caused by the negligent or careless acts of another person. Contact us for a free case consultation by calling (702) 252-0055.