Colorado construction workers are exposed to on-the-job risks and dangers on a daily basis. While they are required to wear helmets and other safety equipment, it is a reality that some of them may sustain traumatic brain injuries that will make it impossible to work and require them to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Because of this danger, Denver construction workers may be interested to learn of a new development in brain injury research that could increase an accident victim’s chance of survival and possibly provide a better chance of recovery.
A worldwide trial is underway to determine if the female hormone progesterone can be used to treat brain injuries. American researchers initially discovered that women have a better chance of recovering from brain injuries in the 1980s, but it was only recently that scientists began using a non-feminizing extraction of progesterone on newly-injured patients. A recent trial in the United States found that only 13 percent of people given progesterone died within 30 days of suffering a traumatic brain injury, compared to 30 percent who were given the placebo.
Researchers believe that the progesterone will reduce swelling in the brain and will allow the patient’s brain to receive healthy and oxygenated blood. When a brain swells, it is pushed against the skull and certain sections of the brain are cut off from the blood supply, which causes brain cells to die. Although it is unclear how the progesterone reduces brain swelling, studies have shown that it has been effective.
While this treatment is still in the experimental stages and there are many years before it could even be available to Coloradoans who are injured at work, it provides a real possibility to reduce an injured employee’s need for workers’ compensation and get him or her back on the job sooner. For those employees who have been unable to take part in the trials, however, it is important to consult a workers’ compensation attorney to help secure the funds necessary to cover lost wages and medical expenses.
Source: The Daily Mail, “Can female sex hormones beat brain damage? Doctors believe progesterone may have protective effect,” Rachel Ellis, Jan. 16, 2012