Brain injuries can be caused by trauma or a lack of oxygen. Traumatic brain injuries may result from a car accident, sport accident, unintended falls or other traumatic events. Lack of oxygen can occur to an infant at the time of labor and delivery but may also occur as a result of the faulty administration of oxygen.
In cases of brain injury it is important to understand that the severity of the injury, mild-moderate-severe, only refers to the initial assessment of trauma to the brain, not to the long term damage. Even a mild injury can lead to serious long term complications. Therefore, the misdiagnosis of a brain injury by a medical provider can lead to serious complications after the patient is discharged from the hospital. The severity of a brain injury is also related to the part of the brain that was injured rather than the severity of the injury itself.
Brain injury that is the result of lack of oxygen can occur during a surgical procedure under anesthesia as well as some diagnostic procedures now performed under heavy sedation. Lack of oxygen at the time of labor and delivery (birth asphyxia or ischemic hypoxic encephalopathy) is the result of a fetus being deprived of adequate oxygenation due to a faulty placenta or uterine hyperactivity (uterine contractions that are too strong or come close together). Brain injuries resulting from lack of oxygen are usually preventable and treated by the administration of oxygen or the prompt delivery by cesarean section.
Brain injuries can be classified as:
Mild Brain injury: A mild brain injury may cause a brief loss of consciousness lasting no more than a few minutes or no loss of consciousness at all. A person may feel dazed or confused shortly after having been injured.
Moderate Brain Injury: In a moderate brain injury the loss of consciousness may last several minutes to several hours. Confusion may last for weeks or months and impairments may last for months or can be permanent.
Severe Brain injury: In a severe brain injury the loss of consciousness may last for days, weeks or months. Severe brain injury may result in coma or even a vegetative state. Impairment may be permanent.
Not all brain injuries are severe from the onset. At times, a mild concussion may cause severe complications. Some complications caused by a brain injury may not appear immediately and some may take months to fully appear. If you have experienced any or a combination of the following symptoms:
impairment of motor function
inability to perform daily tasks
temporary blindness or visual changes
dilated or unequal size pupils
numbness and tingling
weakness of any extremity
lack of responsiveness
you or your loved one may have suffered a brain injury.
Failure by a medical provider to fully evaluate an individual with a brain injury may have catastrophic consequences. If you or your loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of medical treatment we can help you assert your rights and get the compensation you deserve.
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