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Medical Malpractice Can Result In Brain Injuries

Male hospital patient in hospital bed, hooked up to monitors.

Understanding medical negligence and TBIs

When individuals seek medical care, they do so with the expectation that their well-being will be prioritized. Unfortunately, medical malpractice occurs when healthcare providers fail to meet the standard of care, sometimes resulting in additional harm to patients, including brain injuries. These errors can range from surgical mistakes and incorrect diagnoses to improper medication management.

Brain injuries stemming from medical malpractice can profoundly affect patients and their families, leading to significant physical, emotional, and financial challenges. The consequences of such injuries are far-reaching, potentially altering every aspect of the victim's life. Recognizing the severity of these impacts is crucial for understanding the full scope of medical negligence related to TBIs.

Common types of brain injuries

Brain injuries are broadly categorized into non-traumatic and traumatic injuries, both of which can be the result of medical malpractice.

Non-traumatic brain injuries

These injuries arise not from external physical forces but from internal factors that cause brain damage. Common causes include aneurysms, metabolic disorders, hypoxia (lack of oxygen), heart attacks, and infections or diseases that affect the brain. In medical malpractice cases, these injuries often stem from healthcare providers' failure to recognize and treat symptoms promptly, leading to conditions such as brain swelling or prolonged oxygen deprivation that result in permanent brain damage.

Traumatic brain injuries

TBIs result from external forces impacting the head, leading to brain damage. They are subdivided into closed injuries, where the impact does not breach the skull, like concussions, and open or penetrating injuries, where the skull is fractured or penetrated, exposing the brain. In the context of medical negligence, TBIs can occur due to surgical errors, such as the mishandling of instruments or applying improper force, which can lead to direct brain trauma. While surgical mistakes are a clear example, TBIs can also arise from broader medical negligence, such as improper patient handling or failure to monitor and manage post-operative complications that lead to brain injuries.

How medical malpractice can cause brain damage

Medical malpractice occurs when healthcare professionals, such as doctors, nurses, anesthesiologists, and dentists, fail to provide the standard level of care expected in their field. This failure can lead to harm or injury to patients, including brain injuries. Some situations or examples of medical malpractice that can lead to a brain injury include:

  • Delayed Diagnosis of Strokes or Heart Attacks: Timely intervention is critical. Delays can cause prolonged oxygen deprivation to brain tissue, resulting in irreversible damage.
  • Excessive Bleeding During a Procedure: Uncontrolled bleeding can lead to hypoxia (low oxygen), harming brain cells and potentially causing long-term cognitive deficits.
  • Improper Intubation During Surgery: Incorrect intubation can restrict oxygen flow, leading to hypoxic brain injury if the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long.
  • Inadequate Monitoring Under Anesthesia: Failing to closely monitor a patient's vital signs under anesthesia can cause a healthcare professional to miss signs of distress, including those indicating a lack of oxygen to the brain.
  • Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment of Aneurysms or Brain Bleeds: Swift treatment is necessary to prevent catastrophic outcomes from these conditions. Delays can result in significant brain injury or death.
  • Administering Incorrect Medication Dosage or Type: Medication errors can lead to toxic reactions or exacerbate existing conditions, risking brain health.
  • Failure to Diagnose or Treat Pulmonary Embolism: This can lead to oxygen deprivation and subsequent brain damage if the blood supply is blocked.
  • Improper Use of Vacuum Extractors or Forceps During Childbirth: Misuse can cause direct trauma to an infant's head, leading to brain injuries.
  • Surgical Errors Resulting in Brain Damage: Errors or accidents, such as cutting or puncturing brain tissue, can cause direct damage to brain tissue during surgery.
  • Infections Acquired During Hospital Stays: Some infections can lead to conditions like meningitis, which directly affects the brain.
  • Failure to Prevent Falls or Accidents in Healthcare Settings: Falls can cause head injuries, including TBIs, especially in vulnerable populations like the elderly.
  • Neglecting to Provide Appropriate Post-operative Care: Poor post-operative care can result in complications like infections or bleeding, indirectly causing brain damage.
  • Mismanagement of Medical Devices or Equipment: Incorrect use or failure of medical devices can lead to conditions that indirectly harm the brain, such as causing or failing to prevent a stroke.

Demand justice with an experienced medical malpractice attorney

At Warner Law Offices in Wichita, Kansas, our attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in medical malpractice claims. We know firsthand the severity of brain damage and the life-altering impacts it can have on an individual and their families. That's why our experienced team is dedicated to building strong cases and seeking the compensation our clients deserve.

If you or a loved one has suffered brain damage as a result of medical malpractice, contact us for a free consultation. Trust a law firm committed to delivering results and putting your best interests first.

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