There are many types of brain injury, some a lot more serious than others.
Acquired brain injury:
An acquired brain injury is a brain injury caused by events after birth, rather than as part of a genetic or congenital disorder such as fetal alcohol syndrome, perinatal illness or perinatal hypoxia.
Traumatic brain injury:
This is an injury to the brain caused by trauma to the head. Again, there are many ways you could suffer a brain injury, for example, a Road Traffic Accident, an assault or a fall.
Head injuries can either be minor, moderate or severe.
Concussion is usually classed as a minor head injury, although can sometimes be more serious. It is thought that 1 million people in the UK every year attend A&E with concussion and is therefore the most common brain injury. Concussion can be caused by many different things such as direct blows to the head, violent shaking or whiplash type injuries. Concussion also often occurs during sporting activities.
Moderate brain injury is classed as a loss of consciousness from anywhere between 15 minutes to 6 hours.
A severe brain injury is a loss of consciousness for more than 6 hours. The longer the person remains unconscious, the more likely it is they will have physical deficits. A person with a severe brain injury will often be placed into an induced coma to enable the brain to heal. The longer a person spends in a coma, the more likely it is that they will be physically and mentally affected by the injury.
A stroke is an emergency situation and occurs when there is a disruption of blood supply to the brain. There are two types of stroke, Ischaemic and Haemorrhagic.
An Ischaemic stroke is when there is a blood clot in the brain that prevents the flow of blood.
A Haemorrhagic stroke occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain, also known as a haemorrhage.
The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and if the blood flow becomes disrupted, this causes the brain to be starved of oxygen which can cause damage.
The damage caused by the stroke depends very much on the severity.
An aneurysm is when the wall of an artery or blood vessel in the brain is weakened which causes it to swell. This then puts pressure on the surrounding tissue which can be very dangerous. The swelling could also cause the artery or blood vessel to rupture and therefore cause haemorrhaging.
A brain tumour is an abnormal mass of tissue inside the skull which can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). A malignant tumour will need treating as soon as possible as it can grow and spread, therefore early detection is vital for a good prognosis. In some cases, a benign tumour can be left alone as long as it is not interfering with the surrounding tissue. If the tumour grows, treatment may be required to prevent it from impacting on the surrounding areas of the brain.
Meningitis can be caused by either a bacterial, viral or fungal infection. It causes inflammation of the protective membranes that line the brain. Meningitis can cause blood poisoning (septicaemia) which can cause permanent damage to the brain. In most cases, the infection is treated and there will be no lasting damage.
Brain injury and negligence:
A brain injury caused by the negligence of a medical professional can have catastrophic consequences on not only the individual but also their families. A medical negligence claim can help the individual and family cope better with the effects and can pay for assistive equipment and technology that they may require.
The brain injury can result in many things including a loss of mobility, loss of speech or complete change in personality. The injury may also cause severe learning difficulties.
Cerebral Palsy (CP) refers to motor conditions that can be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain or by a mismanagement of an illness in new born babies. Usually, CP is caused during or immediately after birth when the baby is starved of oxygen. CP can usually be diagnosed by the time the child is 18 months old.
Head of the Medical Negligence team, Louise Tyler, has over 20 years experience in dealing with CP cases and representing families in their legal battle to try and achieve justice for their child. Success claims can help the individual and their family financially for the remainder of their lives.