WHEN MEDICAL ERROR
LEADS TO BRAIN INJURY
THE MARVELOUS - BUT DELICATE - BRAIN
The brain is a marvel of our anatomy. The more
we learn about its functions and capabilities, the
more fascinating and awe-inspiring it becomes.
However, the brain is also a delicate organ,
especially during medical procedures. Medical error
can wreak havoc on the brain and leave patients
with permanent disability. In the pages that follow,
we’ll examine some of the most common forms of
malpractice that damage the brain.
DEFINING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE
Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare
professional fails to give the expected level of
medical care to a patient. However, an injury from
medical care isn’t always equal to malpractice.
There are several criteria that constitute malpractice,
such as the establishment of a doctor-patient
relationship and a connection between the doctor’s
negligent actions and the injuries or illness suffered
by the patient.
THE IMPACT OF A BRAIN INJURY
A brain injury can impact a patient’s life in several ways.
Brain injuries can impair motor function, memory, language
processing, intelligence and mood. Brain damage is often
permanent, and a victim will often struggle with the
consequences of an injury, even if there is some recovery,
for the rest of their life.
Here are some of the most common brain injuries suffered
in a medical setting…
Blood clots are one of the most common forms of
brain injury in a surgical setting. Once a blood clot
reaches the brain, it can cause disability or death.
Doctors and nurses need to be mindful of blood
clot risks before, during and after surgery.
When administered improperly, anesthesia can be
extremely dangerous for a patient. Anesthesia errors
can result in serious brain injuries, especially if the
patient has excessively high or low blood pressure
during or after a surgery. It is the job of a
healthcare professional to assess the condition and
risk for injury before administering an anesthesia.
MISSED BRAIN HEMORRHAGE
Brain hemorrhages occur when arteries or veins in
or surrounding the brain break and cause localized
bleeding in the surrounding tissues. They often
occur after a blow to the head. Doctors are trained
to identify the symptoms of a brain hemorrhage,
yet it is not uncommon for a physician to
misdiagnosis a hemorrhage and put a patient at
further risk for brain injuries.
INADEQUATE STROKE MANAGEMENT
When a patient suffers a stroke, it is vital that a
professional recognize and treat the stroke within
four to six hours. Most strokes stem from the
sudden blockage of a brain artery with a clot, but
by acting quickly, a doctor can significantly reduce
the harm suffered by the patient. Failure to do so
can have dire consequences.
Lack of oxygen to the brain, also called cerebral
hypoxia, can result in fainting, long-term
unconsciousness, brain damage and death. These
types of injuries often occur during the birthing
process and they can cause a newborn serious,
long-lasting harm. Doctors should take all necessary
action to avoid oxygen deprivation to a patient.
EXAMPLES OF HARM SUFFERED FROM BRAIN INJURIES
OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF A BRAIN INJURY
In addition to the direct impact of a brain injury, patients may also
suffer in many other ways, including:
Loss in quality of life
Further medical care and expenses
Loss of income
Loss of work capacity
Damaged relationships with loved ones
A MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIM
If a doctor or nurse is responsible for a person’s brain
injury, the patient has the right to pursue a medical
malpractice claim. These claims, if successful, give the
victims of negligence compensation for the damages
they have suffered due to malpractice. For people
struggling with the incredible physical, emotional and
financial fallout of a medical error, these claims are a
much-needed tool to cope with their injuries.
TO LEARN MORE
Contact the Law Firm of Cirignani Heller &
Harman, LLP. We are dedicated to helping clients
who have suffered from medical negligence. Our
team will meet with you and your loved ones to
discuss your case and help you better understand
your legal options. Contact us today by filling out
our online contact form or calling 312-346-8700 to
schedule a free case evaluation.