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Brain Injuries as a result of Clinical Negligence

Adapting to life after a brain injury can be traumatic, particularly if the injury was due to clinical negligence. If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of clinical negligence, you have the right to make a claim for compensation. Here at Grieves, our expert clinical negligence team understand how daunting making a claim can be and are on hand to give you the support you need to make a successful claim.

Brain Injuries and Brain Damage

The brain is the central organ in the body's nervous system and is responsible for controlling all bodily functions. Injury to the brain results in the destructions of brain cells, causing brain damage. The symptoms of brain damage can vary from relatively mild (such as temporary confusion, headaches and slight memory loss) to extremely severe. Severe brain damage often causes extensive physical and mental disability, the effects of which are often life-changing.

Have you or a loved one suffered a brain injury due to clinical negligence? Get in touch with our experience team now to get the compensation you deserve.

Types of Brain Injury

There are three main types of brain injuries:

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)

TBIs are caused by head injury and trauma sustained to the head. Common causes of TBIs include falls, car accidents and assault. The trauma to the brain causes it to move inside the skull, resulting in injuries such as swelling and bleeding in the brain. The effects range from mild to severe. Concussion is a common type of mild TBI that many people experience without suffering lasting damage. More severe TBIs, however, can result in extensive brain damage and disability. Severe TBIs include haemorrhages and haematomas; these types of TBIs are typically caused by extensive trauma to the brain and may cause the victim to experience seizures, a loss of consciousness or even death.

Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs)

Acquired brain injuries are caused by medical conditions that put excessive pressure on the brain, such as aneurysms and tumours. Aneurysms are bulging weak spots in the brains arteries that have the potential to rupture. Ruptured aneurysms are a medical emergency; the loss of blood following a rupture is extensive and can result in severe brain damage and death.

Although TBIs and ABIs can rarely be avoided, their effects can be exacerbated by medical negligence and improper treatment. If brain injuries are not diagnosed and treated quickly, they can result in severe brain damage that could have potentially been avoided. Misdiagnosis of brain injury and delays diagnosing a brain injury both constitute medical negligence. Errors made during brain surgery can also result in brain injury.

Congenital Brain Injuries

Congenital brain injuries are injuries sustained during pregnancy, birth, or in very early infancy. One example of congenital brain injury is cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is an incurable condition characterised by reduced mobility and impaired limb co-ordination; it occurs when the brain is starved of oxygen, usually as a result of pregnancy complications or trauma during birth. Children with the condition are usually diagnosed by the time they are 18 months of age and often require extensive care.

Cerebral palsy is the result of errors made during a child's birth. Our solicitors have dealt with a number of cases where cerebral palsy was found to have been caused by clinical negligence. There are a number of errors that can cause a child's brain to be deprived of oxygen during birth, including:

  • Failure to perform a caesarean section in cases where a vaginal birth was known to be risky
  • Failure to accurately interpret CTG heart traces
  • Failure to notice signs of distress in the baby

Kernicterus is a form of brain damage that can manifest in babies suffering from jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). The condition is rare, but can occur if a child's bilirubin levels are allowed to rise to extraordinarily high levels. Misdiagnosis of the jaundice and delays organising treatment can cause a child to develop kernicterus.

Making a claim

If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury as a result of clinical negligence, you have the right to make a claim for compensation. Adapting to life after a brain injury can be extremely difficult, not only for the victim, but also for his or her family. If the victim is no longer able to work as a result of the injury, the financial burden of losing a breadwinner can be enormous. A family's income may also be depleted if one of the victim's relatives has to give up work to become his or her carer. The money you receive as compensation can help to alleviate some of the financial pressures associated with brain injury such as loss of earnings and the cost of care and therapies. Compensation may also be awarded in response to the psychological trauma associated with brain injury.

In the case of children with brain injuries caused by clinical negligence, the compensation payouts are likely to be quite high; this is because the money is carefully calculated to suffice for the child's entire life. The money is given to help cover expenses associated with care, therapies (many of which aren't available on the NHS), and any adaptions that will need to be made to the child's accommodation as he or she grows. Contact Grieves Solicitors today and let us help you receive the compensation you deserve.