Brain Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice
Brain injuries are usually caused by a traumatic accident, such as a traffic collision, a fall, or a direct blow to the skull. But they may also occur in healthcare settings, due to medical errors or negligence.
When a person suffers a brain injury due to medical malpractice, their family members may be unsure what to do. The first step is to contact an attorney who has experience with medical malpractice cases.
Wapner Newman’s malpractice attorneys have handled numerous brain injury cases and medical malpractice cases, working diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for our clients. If you believe you or your immediate family member might have a brain injury caused by a medical error, contact us to request your free, no-obligation case consultation.
How Brain Injuries Occur in Healthcare Facilities
The brain can be injured in a number of ways; and in hospitals, the mechanism of injury may not be immediately obvious. For example, if doctors fail to detect a patient’s blood clot, that clot might block a blood vessel to the brain, resulting in a stroke that causes brain damage. Personal injury attorneys who are familiar with brain injury cases can help determine all of the factors that contributed to a brain injury, such as:
- Misdiagnosis or a missed diagnosis
- Surgical errors
- Anoxia (a lack of oxygen)
- Abuse (a common cause of injury in nursing homes)
- Birth trauma (causing injury to newborn babies)
- Medication errors (incorrect dosage, or incorrect medications).
Blood Infection and Brain Damage
Septicemia, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream, can cause a condition called sepsis, in which the body experiences a rapid inflammatory response. Without immediate intervention, organ failure is imminent, and the brain is among the first organs to fail. Even when doctors are able to halt the progression of sepsis, patients who survive often suffer brain damage.
People who have compromised immune systems, a chronic illness, or severe wounds or burns are more susceptible to sepsis. Poor sanitary procedures in healthcare settings can raise the risk of sepsis. Common mechanisms of hospital-acquired septicemia are:
- Central line infections (bacteria entering the body through an intravenous catheter)
- Urinary catheter infections (more prevalent in nursing homes)
- Surgical-site infections.
In nursing homes, sepsis may occur when residents develop bedsores, due to inattention or neglect. The sores can become severe, penetrating deep tissue and creating a pathway to the bloodstream for bacteria.
The Effects of Brain Injury
Brain injuries can have a wide range of consequences, some of which cause lifelong disability. Some of the effects of brain injury include:
- Sensory loss
- Memory loss
- Speech difficulties
- Cognitive impairment
- Loss of bodily function (such as paralysis or organ failure)
- Emotional issues/mood disturbances
- Depression and anxiety
People who have suffered a brain injury while in a hospital or long-term care facility may be unaware of what happened to them, due to cognitive impairment, memory loss, or a persistent vegetative state. Family members are often in the position of investigating what happened to their relative, while trying to provide them with the care and support they need.
The Long-term Outlook
Families whose loved one has suffered a severe brain injury may not realize the true cost of caring for their family member. People with severe injuries may need lifelong care, medical devices such as respirators, and extensive physical therapy. Brain injury survivors may be completely dependent on others for care, in which case they may need to live in a long-term care facility. And a severe brain injury raises the risk of other illnesses and infections that require treatment.
Personal injury attorneys with experience handling brain injury cases know that the long-term costs of care can be prohibitive for families. Attorneys look for every possible source of compensation for their clients, to help them manage their expenses and live their lives as comfortably as possible.
Wapner Newman has handled numerous brain injury cases, so our attorneys understand how to hold medical providers accountable when their mistakes injure their patients. Our goal is to reach a quick resolution for our clients, to minimize stress for the entire family. If you need help with a brain injury case, contact us to request your no-cost consultation.