A catastrophic injury is one that severely impacts the person long-term or permanently. The nature of the injury determines how various parts of the body will be affected. One potentially serious complication arising out of catastrophic injuries is difficulty with eating and digestion.
Peripheral nerves carry messages to and from the brain, spinal cord and other parts of the body. When they are damaged, it can impact the digestive system. The patient may have trouble swallowing because the muscles in the mouth or throat aren’t functioning properly. Other problems related to nerve damage to the digestive system include diarrhea and incontinence.
Brain and Spinal Injuries
Nerve damage in the spine can lead to digestive problems. But other back injuries of the spine can also lead to stomach and digestion problems, such as a fracture or paralysis. Patients who experience a spinal fracture may suffer from a bulging/distended stomach from compression of the stomach related to a shorter spine.
Injuries to the brain and spine could lead to a disorder called dysphagia. This is a swallowing disorder in which the problem is with the throat or esophagus.
Symptoms of dysphagia may include:
- gagging or choking when swallowing food;
- food comes back up through the nose, mouth or throat;
- painful swallowing;
- food gets stuck in throat; and
- takes more than one try to get food down.
Treating Eating/Digestive Problems and How It Can Impact a Claim
These are serious issues that cause patients to lose weight and become very ill. Treatment depends on the nature of the catastrophic injury (nerve, back, brain) and the specific digestive or stomach problems from which the patient suffers. Dietary changes may be necessary for instance, eating smaller meals more frequently or switching to softer foods.
When it’s the result of a brain injury or nerve damage, special exercises may help the swallowing muscles work better. It may even require surgery to correct any problems related to the swallowing or other digestive problems.
When someone else’s negligence caused the catastrophic injury, it’s important to consider the long-term effect this will have on your life. A claim should address any medical costs associated with the injury and complications (such as eating/digestive problems). It’s important to include future treatment and those related costs as well.
Many times a catastrophic injury prevents patients from returning to work. Or it may require a change in career and result in a lower-paying job. An injury claim can also address this loss of income related to the injury.
The physical and psychological impact of the injuries is another issue to consider when seeking compensation. Problems with eating aren’t just an inconvenience; they can have physical and psychological effects on the patient, interfering with quality of life and other important elements.
An attorney can help determine how injured patients in Aurora can address these injuries in a claim. Contact D.J. Banovitz today to set up a consultation and evaluate your options for recovering compensation. Call us at 303-300-5060.