The doctor that has been charged with examining, and then prescribing the treatment for a mild traumatic brain injury has a certain type of patient. It is an individual that is suffering from a blunt trauma. The same physician has to remain alert for certain symptoms. Each of those symptoms indicates the possible presence of something that has not been detected by our present-day imaging machines.
True, our modern-day imaging machines do represent a major advance over what was and was not available in the past. The first machine that could produce an image other than a simple x-ray did not become available until the early 1970s. Until then, diagnosticians relied on some crude means for introducing temporary changes to a region that was scheduled to be x-rayed.
Frequently, that change could be created by introducing a special chemical into the bloodstream. Radioactive iodine was the chemical used most often. In rare cases, an x-ray might be taken following injection of air into a certain body part, such as the spinal cord.
The imaging machines produced today provide doctors with images of problems that have created unmistakable symptoms. Still, those same images fail to reveal any subtle abnormalities. Lawyers and doctors know that any such subtle abnormality might later develop into a serious medical condition.
Attitudes toward the absence of a diagnosis
Obviously, what has not been diagnosed cannot be treated. Yet in the eyes of an insurance company, if a doctor has not mentioned a diagnosis and its associated treatment, there is no need to compensate the victim for what has been claimed as a problem. Of course, insurance companies cannot ignore mention of something called a Glasgow Coma score.
That is the score used to determine whether or not an accident victim remained in a coma shortly after the injury-causing collision. The score is meant to reveal what could have happened during the first 13 to 15 minutes after the collision. Doctors look at that score, along with any evidence that the patient/victim was unconscious for more than 30 minutes, or exhibited post-accident amnesia for more than 24 hours.
Both unconsciousness and amnesia are often linked to the condition known as coma. Insurance companies must recognize what medical researchers have learned. Both unconsciousness and amnesia can send a signal, a signal about the presence of a neurological problem. Still, the presence of such symptoms does not serve as proof that such a problem does in fact exist.
That is why injury lawyers in Waterloo would welcome the introduction of better imaging equipment. In that way, a diagnosis of neurological problems could be made sooner. An earlier diagnosis would lead to creation of more pieces of evidence. Consequently, some subtle medical problems might get detected before the holder of an insurance policy has agreed to a rather small settlement, one that covers only the conditions that have been diagnosed.