Medical Malpractice & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) can result from a doctor, nurse or medical staff making a mistake or omitting a necessary step in a procedure or administering treatment to a patient. If someone suffers a TBI, it’s important to determine if malpractice occurred.
What is a TBI?
A TBI typically stems from a blow to the head or something entering the skull. These injuries can range from mild to severe, and include closed head injuries, open head injuries, diffuse axonal injuries and contusions. The symptoms of more severe cases of TBI involve bleeding or torn or bruised tissue.
Brain injuries are serious and the results can be devastating, including the loss of motor function, long-term health complications or even death.
Any injury caused to a patient by a medical professional due to negligence constitutes medical malpractice. The negligence can occur during diagnosis, treatment, aftercare, prescribing medication or in health or pain management.
Malpractice is common but it can be challenging to prove. It takes an experienced lawyer to determine if malpractice happened and to advise you on how to proceed.
TBI is a broad term that can have many outcomes. When someone suffers a TBI, they can experience bleeding and swelling in the brain or changes in brain chemistry that will alter brain function. Per this article, a person with a TBI may not show signs of awareness, their eyes might remain closed and they could even become comatose.
Recovering from a TBI is lengthy, challenging and isn’t always successful. A patient could experience improvement within the first six months but the entire recovery process could take up to two years. In the most severe cases, it can take even longer. There’s no set recovery time and the length of recovery and the program and process differs per person.
The long-term effects of TBI are difficult to determine. What is known, though, is that the chance of recovery lowers based on the severity of the brain injury.
TBI in Babies
During birth, babies are susceptible to TBI caused by malpractice. TBI during pregnancy or birth is the most common usually during delivery because there are many ways for a baby to be deprived of oxygen.
Oxygen deprivation can occur in the following ways:
- Placental abruption
- Umbilical cord compression
- Illness to the mother
These are preventable if the pregnant woman is properly and regularly monitored. Doctors need to check that the back is receiving the right amount of oxygen or they could be found negligent if a TBI occurs.
TBI in Adults
While less common for adults, TBI caused by malpractice still happens. The most common mistake that doctors resulting in a TBI to an adult is a misdiagnosis. A small skull fracture or blood clot going unnoticed could have devastating results.
The other likely culprit is surgical error. A surgical error means a surgeon made a mistake during the procedure or they failed in diagnosing an infection or in administering the right kind or proper dosage of medication.
Noting that a doctor needs to be careful is an understatement. They have a great responsibility and zero room for error. A patient is entitled to a reasonable standard of care and total consideration while in a doctor’s care.
Other TBI Symptoms
Per the Mayo Clinic, a global leader in medical research and healthcare, there are many complications that someone with a TBI can experience, including:
- Vegetative state
- Brain death
- Fluid buildup
- Nerve damage
After suffering a traumatic brain injury, a person could also experience memory loss, an inability to learn and reason and their mental processing could slow.
Often overlooked is the social problems that can occur in the light of a traumatic brain injury. While recovering, it can be challenging to comprehend non-verbal signals, social cues and even trouble with starting or stopping conversation.
If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury while under the care of a medical professional, you need to determine if malpractice occurred. The cost to recover from this injury can be extensive—life and health care costs, loss of earning capacity, damages for pain and suffering—you need expert legal help to ensure you receive what you deserve.
The dedicated personal injury lawyers at Mackesy Smye are adept at handling medical malpractice cases. We take your rights and health seriously and believe that the medical community has a responsibility to provide optimal care – contact us today.