Not all TBI rehabilitation centers created equal

Each year, thousands of people in the U.S. suffer traumatic brain injuries, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most of these injuries occur in falls, it may surprise some people to learn that the second most common cause of traumatic brain injuries is car accidents. In recent years, a large number of studies have focused on the difficulties that patients face in attempting rehabilitation from even mild traumatic brain injuries. A new study, out of Baylor University in Texas, indicates that patients' choice of rehabilitation centers may play a role in how quickly they recover from their injuries.

The study, published in the most recent edition of the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, marks the first time that researchers have attempted to match a patient's choice of rehabilitation facility with a difference in treatment outcomes. Although it has long been known that outcomes at treatment centers for other conditions, such as cardiac surgery or oncology, can vary, no one had ever attempted to establish similar numbers in a rehabilitation context.

The team examined outcomes from 21 Traumatic Brain Injury Model System treatment centers. Although they expected that patient outcomes at all TBIMS centers would be similar, they discovered that they varied widely. Specifically, they discovered a difference of between 25 to 45 percent between the best performing centers and the worst performing centers.

Discovering that the choice of rehabilitation center makes a difference in patient outcomes is only the first part of the study. In subsequent studies, researchers will examine the different treatment approaches and administrative structures to determine whether they can establish a pattern for effective TBI care. The overall goal is to help rehabilitation centers across the country to develop practices and procedures that have the greatest chance of helping patients to recover. In addition, researchers hope to develop a grading system that patients and their families can use to ensure that they are receiving the best care.

If you or someone in your family has suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation for medical bills and other costs that you deserve. As this study shows, the facility you choose for rehabilitation therapy can make a difference and it makes sense for you to stand up for your rights. For more information, consider speaking to an attorney today.