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Brain Injuries and Medical Malpractice


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When Medical Error Leads to Brain Injury

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Brain Injuries and Medical Malpractice

  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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.
  4. 4. 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…
  5. 5. SURGERY 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.
  6. 6. ANESTHESIA 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.
  7. 7. 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.
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. OXYGEN DEPRIVATION 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.
  10. 10. EXAMPLES OF HARM SUFFERED FROM BRAIN INJURIES  Memory problems  Language difficulties  Physical disability  Anxiety  Depression  Irritability  Vision loss  Death
  11. 11. 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
  12. 12. 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.
  13. 13. 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.