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Car accident victim credits fish oil for brain injury recovery

Car accidents can cause incredibly serious injuries, particularly to the brain and spinal cord. For some accident victims, recovery takes many years or the accident could leave them with a permanent disability. For one young man who got into a car accident just months before his high school graduation, it seemed that it would be almost impossible for him to recover from his severe brain injury.

Yet, with the help of doctors and the support of his parents, the young man was able to recover and attend his high school graduation. His parents say that his recovery was aided in large part by an experimental treatment using fish oil.

When he was initially admitted to the hospital, their son was in a severe coma. Doctors assessed his condition and evaluated him using a standardized scale for coma patients. He was determined to have a coma score of 3, which doctors say is close to death. When he survived the initial trauma, doctors were unsure how recovery might look and what sort of brain function he might have.

His father began doing his own research to try to find out if there were more treatment options, and eventually spoke with a doctor who suggested using fish oil to help the brain rebuild. Fish oil is an uncommon treatment and has only been used in this way in on other case, to treat a survivor of a mine collapse.

Brain injuries are incredibly difficult to recover from because brain tissue does not repair itself the way that other body parts do. A doctor involved in treating the miner explained that the fish oil treatment was designed to help provide the brain with new building materials, and fish oil contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which also make up a large portion of the brain.

While most recovery stories from car accident injuries are not this remarkable, many New Jersey residents do have experience overcoming the odds and enduring long and expensive treatment to repair their injuries. It is important that patients have access to the care that they need, which is way many people pursue a claim for damages against the driver that caused the accident. A settlement with an insurance company or an award from a jury often includes medical expenses.

Source: CNN, “Fish oil helped save our son,” Stephanie Smith, Oct. 19, 2012

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