Brain damage destroys families. Brain injuries can occur in a variety of ways and range from traumatic or severe to mild. The road to recovery is long and expensive.
Whether the brain injury results from medical malpractice, a motor vehicle accident, a fall, a sports injury, a stroke, a drowning incident, or other circumstance, the cost for future medical care is staggering. And even young children have lost future income.
Brain Injuries – Medical Malpractice
Every year there are millions of brain injury related emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the United States. Nearly one million of these health events are among children. The brain can be injured in a number of ways in a medical or hospital setting and the mechanism of injury may not be immediately obvious. Examples include failures to detect blood clots and strokes, failures to perform sedation vacations, failures to perform neurologic exams, undiagnosed and untreated infections, hypoxia, anoxia, birth trauma, anesthesia and surgical errors, other misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose and many others. Timely diagnosis of brain damage symptoms is crucial when considering an injured patient’s long term outcomes. Great care and expertise is required to identify all possible causes.
Brain Injuries – Children & Adolescents
Brain injuries in infants can occur before, during, or after birth. They can last a lifetime and leave children mentally handicapped or physically disabled forever. Treatments can improve the quality of life but are expensive and not easy to obtain.
Brain injuries resulting from birth can include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Infant Hematoma
- Bleeding in the Brain
- Intraventricular Hydrocephalus (IVH)
- Hypoxia or Lack of Oxygen to the Brain
Brain injuries in older children can occur in adolescent youth through physical injury, near drowning incidents, failure to diagnose infections or other illnesses. These injuries can result in lifelong complications and can leave a child mentally handicapped if not appropriately treated.
Brain Injuries – Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents are a top category for causing brain injuries every year. Approximately 280,000 people in the U.S. receive a motor vehicle induced traumatic brain injury every year. Twenty percent of all brain damage is motor vehicle related and constitutes the second largest causative method, behind falls. Traffic accident brain damage also accounts for the greatest number of hospitalizations. These accidents can be traumatic and have life-long consequences.
Brain Injuries – Falls and Other TBI’s
Traumatic brain injury (commonly known as TBI) is a brain injury caused by an external physical force such as a fall or other blunt force trauma to the skull. Brain trauma may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness and it can also result in the disturbance of behavioral or emotional functioning. Closed brain injury occurs when a person receives an impact to the head from an outside force, but the skull does not fracture or displace. Both types of brain injuries may be either temporary or permanent and cause partial or total functional disability or psychosocial maladjustment. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in the United States, there are currently 5.3 million individuals suffering from a traumatic brain injury that will have lifelong effects.