An Experienced Attorney Who Can Represent You in a Brain Injury Lawsuit
Silverman Law Firm LC represents victims who have suffered brain injuries due to medical malpractice, defective medical devices, and more. Medical malpractice can cause brain injuries due to delays in treating blood loss, failures in the diagnosis and treatment of myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), medication errors, failure to monitor pumps used for pain management, anesthesia errors, obstetrical malpractice, and failure to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Medical Causes of HAI
In the medical malpractice context, there are a number of scenarios that can lead to oxygen deprivation serious enough to cause a brain injury. Some common mishaps include:
- A heart attack, or reduced heart rate called bradycardia, can prevent the heart from pumping blood to the brain, thereby depriving the brain cells of oxygen. The failure of health care providers to timely diagnose such a cardiac event can result in unnecessary delay in treatment and preventable injury to the brain.
- Bleeding, such as internal bleeding from an injured spleen or from a vein or artery cut during surgery, can cause decreased blood pressure and low blood flow to the brain. Again, a delay in diagnosis or treatment to stop the bleeding and restore oxygen to the brain can result in a devastating brain injury.
- Anesthesia errors or pharmacy malpractice, such as excessive medication or the failure on the part of health care providers to monitor a patient’s breathing or heart rate while he or she is asleep, can cause a brain injury.
- Diabetic coma or hypoglycemic encephalopathy can both lead to a type of anoxic brain injury. In addition to oxygen, the brain also requires the right amount of glucose (sugar) to function properly. Hospitalized patients with diabetes must be carefully monitored to ensure that their blood glucose levels do not become too high, or too low.
Consequences of HAI
The symptoms and severity of a brain injury vary depending on the extent and length of the oxygen deprivation, as well as the part(s) of the brain affected. Common problems caused by such an injury include:
- Memory loss, usually short term memory loss
- Difficulty with words
- Decline in executive function, such as multi-tasking or complex problem solving
- Lack of coordination, or clumsiness – sometimes referred to as ataxia
- Neurological impairment, such as spasticity or weakness in the arms or legs
- Loss of consciousness – such as coma or persistent vegetative state
Obviously, depending on the severity of the symptoms, a brain injury can be devastating for the victim and the victim’s family. Often the victim of a brain injury is unable to return to work or to perform household tasks. This can cause tremendous financial hardship, stress and disruption of the family dynamic. When a victim or his or her family understands that a preventable brain injury was caused by the negligence of the health care providers entrusted to provide quality medical care, it can be particularly frustrating.
Litigating AHI Cases
The medical and legal issues in brain injury cases – whether the brain injury is caused by malpractice or negligence in another setting – are complex. It is typically necessary for the lawyer handling the case to hire experts in various medical fields to give opinions regarding the different medical issues confronted by the client. Neurologists often will testify regarding the mechanism of injury. Radiologists typically are required to read the x-rays, CT scans and MRI scans that show the ischemic - or oxygen deprived - areas of the brain. Neuro-psychologists often perform testing to establish the extent of the brain injury, and the limitations and challenges encountered by the victim.
If you or loved one suffered a brain injury due to medical malpractice, please call us at (804) 325-4992 or click here to contact us via email.
Web Resources for Anoxic Brain Injuries Due to Malpractice:
- Brain Injury Association of Virginia
Description: The Brain Injury Association of Virginia provides resources to victims of brain injuries and their families.
- National Rehabilitation Information Center
Description: The National Rehabilitation Information Center assists people who are disabled due to brain injuries. This link provides information on how to obtain financial assistance, education, technology, and other services for victims of brain injuries.