Signs of Brain Injury Caused by Malpractice

Traumatic Brain Injuries

One of the worst consequences that medical malpractice can produce is permanent harm to a patient’s brain. Various injuries to the brain and brain stem can occur due to a doctor, surgeon, or anesthesiologist’s mistake, and early identification of symptoms can be crucial to enforcing an injured patient’s legal rights and avoiding catastrophic long-term harm.

Detectable signs of brain injury caused by malpractice can vary depending on the specific type of injury a patient suffers from, as well as the manner in which it came about. Generally, brain injuries can be categorized as either traumatic or non-traumatic. Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by external forces that impact or penetrate the skull, while the latter stem from bodily conditions like illness or oxygen deprivation.

While traumatic brain damage can occur in a medical setting, malpractice typically results in non-traumatic injuries. A medical professional allowing a patient to suffer an infection, failing to identify and treat a tumor or blood clot, or depriving a patient’s brain of oxygen due to improper intubation or the incorrect application of anesthetic are all actions that could constitute malpractice.

Likewise, failure to diagnose certain diseases like rabies, meningitis, and toxoplasmosis could lead to avoidable brain damage. In certain cases, sepsis resulting from unsterile conditions in a hospital could have negative effects on the brain as well.

What are the Identifiable Symptoms of a Brain Injury?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are a variety of ways in which a brain injury can negatively affect someone, including cognition, sensation, communication, emotion, and sleeping patterns. Accordingly, any or multiple of the following symptoms may be indicative of brain injury caused by malpractice:

  • Long-term memory loss, and/or difficulty with short-term retention
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Loss of hearing
  • Blurry or spotty vision
  • Weakness and/or numbness in the limbs and extremities
  • Lack of coordination
  • Difficulty or inability to move, up to and including paralysis
  • Slurred speech, or difficulty “finding the right word”
  • Difficulty understanding what other people are saying
  • Mood swings
  • Abnormal aggressive and/or depressive thoughts and behavior

Additionally, certain symptoms may indicate an undiagnosed tumor or blood clot that could cause devastating harm if undiagnosed or misdiagnosed by a doctor. Anyone who experiences consistently worsening headaches, abnormal pupil dilation, seizures, repeated nausea, or sudden loss of consciousness should seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if a doctor previously gave them a clean bill of health.

Taking Action If a Doctor Ignores Signs of Brain Damage

The human brain is incredibly sensitive to both external impacts and internal bodily changes so any sign of potential malady affecting the brain should be treated with the utmost seriousness by both patients and healthcare providers. Even a few minutes of oxygen deprivation can result in the death of thousands of brain cells, and while undiagnosed diseases and injuries may not be immediately noticeable, the damage they can cause in the long term is no less debilitating or dangerous.

If you see signs of brain injury either caused or ignored by a doctor’s malpractice, filing a civil suit may be in your best interests once you seek and receive appropriate treatment for your condition. To learn more about what kinds of damages you may be eligible to collect, call an experienced New York medical malpractice lawyer today.