Car crashes, combat, construction accidents, and collisions during sports events can all result in traumatic brain injury or TBI. Stats from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that annually, around 1.7 million Americans suffer the injury. Emergency surgery, medications, and complex procedures are usually required to revive and stabilize the patient’s condition. Despite effective treatments and long, gruesome recoveries, it is not uncommon for the brain injury sufferer to lose some basic physical and mental functions (temporarily or permanently).
In some cases, the injury may not be revealed right away, and it can become serious before suspicion arises. For instance, a serious brain disorder like chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE can develop over time after a series of concussions. CTE is a neurological impairment that occurs after recurrent head trauma. It produces symptoms comparable to dementia, such as memory loss, depression, and fits of anger. Veterans and athletes commonly suffer the condition.
These kinds of brain injury can go undetected even if the person suffering it regularly goes to checkups or gets treated for the trauma immediately. A Brooklyn, NY personal injury lawyer knows that in some scenarios, their medical provider may be partly or fully responsible.
Insufficient Assessments and Diagnostic Testing
When a brain injury is suspected, the neurological checks should be very thorough and extensive. Every brain and nerve function should be assessed, especially those that affect a person’s quality of life. For instance, a test on the cranial nerves should assess the person’s ability to see, smell, hear, speak, and move his/her body parts. Scans on the head should also be maximized to check injuries and track the progression of any ailment or the effectiveness of treatments. If anything is missed, it could have dire consequences to the patient’s functional ability or even his/her life.
Neglect or Inefficient Treatment
Of course, the course of treatment should also be meticulously planned and executed. From the initial management of the injury up until the patient’s recovery, the doctors and the rest of the health care team should exercise care and competence to prevent further brain injury. The patient should be referred to neurosurgeons or any other specialist as needed. If not, his/her life could be endangered.
Any of these mistakes or negligence on the part of health care providers can cause harm and even death in some cases. Personal injury attorneys in Brooklyn like The Law Offices of Joseph Lichtenstein know that these can be strong grounds for a medical malpractice or personal injury lawsuit. Personal injury lawyers can help you further explore the implications of the undetected brain injury and determine how much compensation you can seek from the accountable party.
(Source: Could veterans have concussion-related CTE?, CNN, April 6, 2015)