ROB LEVINE, MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWYER
VICTIM OF A BRAIN INJURY? GET AN ATTORNEY
A brain injury occurs when there is damage to the brain. This can happen because of several different factors including illness, oxygen deprivation, drug use, or a substantial impact on the head. Brain injuries are serious conditions that can often lead to a lifetime of struggle. They affect not only one’s cognitive functions but can also have an impact on mobility.
BRAIN INJURY VS TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
A brain injury involves damage to the brain because of illness, oxygen deprivation, drug use, or other non-violent occurrences.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the result of direct impact to the head. These can result in a variety of symptoms from a concussion to a coma.
WHY DOES BRAIN INJURY HAPPEN?
Brain injuries are often caused by hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which refers to a lack of oxygen and blood flow.
Reasons for oxygen deprivation include:
- Prolonged labor
- Umbilical cord complications
- Placental abruption
- Uterine rupture
- Shoulder dystocia
- Low maternal blood pressure
COMMON CAUSES OF BRAIN INJURY
While most people tend to think of TBIs when referring to brain injuries, non-violent brain injuries occur frequently.
Common causes of brain injuries include:
Failure to Diagnose: Brain injuries can occur in the wake of a heart attack, stroke, or meningitis. If a doctor fails to diagnose these conditions, then it can result in a brain injury.
Oxygen Deprivation: A non-violent example of oxygen deprivation is anesthesia errors that occur during surgery. This lack of oxygen can result in a brain injury.
Birth Asphyxia: This is another example of the oxygen deprivation that occurs during labor and delivery. Birth asphyxia can result in brain injury.
COMMON CAUSES OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
There can be any number of reasons that someone experiences a blow to the head. However, some of the more common causes of TBIs include:
Slip and Fall Accidents: Slip and fall incidents are the leading cause of TBIs in the United States. They account for 81% of brain injuries in people over the age of 65.
Car Accidents: Motor vehicle accidents involving other cars, trucks, or motorcycles account for 20% of all TBI related hospitalizations.
Blunt Trauma: When an object hits a person’s head or a person’s head hits an object. These account for 17% of TBI related hospitalizations.
Assault: Criminal assault accounts for 10% of all brain injuries.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Symptoms of a TBI may vary based on the age of the person and the severity of the impact to the head.
These symptoms include:
- Bleeding or bruising on the head
- Loss of consciousness
- Memory loss or amnesia
- Nausea or vomiting
- Speech impairment
- Excessive fatigue
- Difficulty performing daily tasks
- Behavioral changes
- Trouble sleeping
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Ringing in the ears
- Blurred vision
The long-term effects of a brain injury depend on how much damage was done. For example, if a concussion was suffered, the brain will most likely heal itself over time. However, if extensive damage has occurred, the person could be looking at long-lasting or permanent side effects.
Brain injuries can have long-term effects on:
- Ability to think
- Language skills
- Sense of smell and/or taste
In the most severe cases, extensive brain damage can lead to a temporary or permanent comatose state.
Depending on the severity of the brain injury, treatment options vary.
- Physical therapy
- Speech therapy
- Occupational therapy
Any of these treatments will assist a brain injury victim to manage their symptoms and regain abilities they may have lost such as mobility, speech, or the ability to think clearly.
WAS IT NEGLIGENCE?
Brain injury, while traumatic, is not always the fault of a medical professional. This birth injury can occur due to a wide variety of circumstances. However, it is important to recognize when the situation may have occurred because of medical negligence.
Examples of medical negligence that may result in brain injury include:
- Failure to properly monitor mother and child
- Failure to acknowledge existing risks or complications
- Failure to treat respond to complications appropriately and promptly
- Allowing prolonged labor
- Improper use of birth tools
Medical Malpractice Case
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