Brain injuries may stem from any number of different causes. From kinetic trauma to cardiovascular issues that may damage brain tissue due to decreased blood supply and inadequate oxygen. Regardless of the cause, all brain injuries have the potential to cause severe, long-term and even life-threatening consequences. It is not uncommon for those who have suffered a brain injury to experience impaired cognition, loss of motor-skills and other issues which may severely detract from overall quality of life. Dealing with the numerous issues that may need to be addressed in order to file an insurance claim or to take further legal action following a brain injury often requires the services of an experienced medical malpractice attorney.
Understanding the Nature of a Brain Injury
The human brain is an incredibly complex and fragile organ. While the brain is encased within a thick skull in order to protect it from external forces, kinetic trauma can still pose a significant threat. In the event of systemic injury to the body or even medical conditions that may result in decreased circulation and blood flow, the human body will automatically shunt more blood to the brain in order to keep brain tissue healthy and functional. There are a number of ways that human anatomy functions to protect the brain, but an accident or illness may still have the potential to cause serious and lasting damage to the brain.
Even a fall from standing height may result in a concussion or other type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Interrupting the flow of blood and oxygen to the brain, even for just a few moments, can result in extensive damage to nerve cells and brain tissue. Mundane accidents and seemingly common medical issues both have the potential to cause significant damage to the human brain which often results in permanent impairment or even life-threatening medical complications.
Symptoms of a Brain Injury
Signs that the brain may have suffered and injury range from the obvious to the very subtle. Athletes who suffer multiple TBIs throughout the course of their career may still be unable to identify any symptoms without first undergoing an MRI or other diagnostic procedure. Other symptoms, such as confusion or short-term memory loss following a concussion are unlikely to go unnoticed. Being involved in a potentially-serious accident is often the first sign to suspect a TBI may have occurred.
While a significant mechanism of injury does not always insure damage to the brain, it should still indicate a high level of suspicion. A full medical examination is often needed in order to detect the presence of a brain injury following an accident and should always be sought out and arranged as soon as possible. Other common indications may include impaired memory, loss of consciousness, headaches that are frequent or severe and even personality changes. Prompt medical care is essential for minimizing the extent and potential impact of a brain injury.
Illness and Medical Negligence
Not all brain injuries are the result of external trauma. Illnesses and medical issues that may deprive the brain of oxygen for whatever reason can be just as serious as an injury, and are often much harder to detect. From diabetic issues that may result in critically low blood-sugar to complications with routine surgical procedures, any issues that may interfere with ordinary cell functions within the brain have the potential to cause serious and significant injury.
Common causes of medical malpractice that may result in a brain injury include administering the wrong drug or prescribing an unsafe dosage. Complications with anesthesia can also deprive patients of the oxygen they need to support healthy brain function and delaying intubation or failing to identify and address an issue which may obstruct a patient’s airway or disrupt their breathing can quickly become life threatening. Brain injuries can also occur within a hospital setting or other facility when patients are not properly monitored by the nursing staff or their care providers.
Understanding the True Cost of a Brain Injury
Any injury to the brain that may result in loss of function, impairment or decreased quality of life is a very serious issue. Seeking financial compensation in order to cover the costs of medical care or to help offset the pain, suffering or loss of function that may stem from an injury is a matter of great importance. Even being able to identify a brain injury following an accident or medical mishap is not always easy. Legal assistance can often play a key role in ensuring that a family member or loved one is provided with the care needed to identify or rule out a potential brain injury.
The services of an experienced personal injury layer can play a crucial role when dealing with the aftermath of a brain injury. If you have reason to suspect that you or someone close to you may have recently suffered a brain injury, then it is time to contact the professionals.