New Study May Speed Recovery of Brain Injury Victims

July 29, 2015 | Crandall & Pera Law
New Study May Speed Recovery of Brain Injury Victims

Recovering from a brain injury can be long and difficult process. Cognitive and physical therapies are time-consuming, and results often depend on the individual circumstances of the case. When someone suffers a brain injury, time saved is brain saved; the faster doctors can intervene, the better the chances of a full recovery.

In the past, it was believed that the best way to heal after suffering a brain injury was rest and inactivity, to prevent changes in blood flow and to allow injuries to heal as best as possible. However, a promising new study by a nurse in Cleveland may change the way doctors treat patients after a brain injury.

Kate Klein began working at the Cleveland Clinic’s Neurointensive Care Unit some time ago. She noticed that the majority of patients were bedridden, and also knew that current medical practice has found that getting patients out of bed as soon as possible after an injury helped to promote healing. She began to wonder if there was a difference between bodily injury and brain injury.

In response, she designed and carried out a study on over 600 patients. During the year it took to conduct the test, Klein got more than half of her patients out of bed, sometimes on their first day in the ICU. Her findings were amazing. According to National Public Radio, “What she found was that getting up and moving had clear benefits. Patients who started their rehabilitation earlier spent less time in the ICU and less time in the hospital. ‘They have less pressure ulcers, less infections and spend less time on the ventilator if they need ventilator therapy,’ says Klein. And most say they feel a lot better.”

In response to Klein’s efforts, the Cleveland Clinic has installed ceiling-mounted lifts to help get patients out of bed. The results have been nothing short of amazing. One patient, a mother, spoke for the first time after walking outside the hospital for the first time.

Doctors believe that the experience gained by performing routine tasks like walking down a hallway, sitting outside on a bench, or even getting out of chair help to promote brain healing. These familiar tasks engage the brain, and can begin to let the brain rewire itself to compensate for an injury. Doctors caution that this research is still in its early stages, and that not all brain injuries may respond the same way to this treatment. However, thanks to Kate Klein in at the Cleveland Clinic, there is more hope from brain injury victims than ever before.

When brain injuries happen, the medical costs can be staggering. Hospital stays, rehabilitation, and cognitive and behavioral therapy sessions can add up quickly. If you or someone you know suffered a brain injury during an accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free consultation at one of our offices in Ohio or Kentucky.