Brain Hemorrhage - Medical Malpractice Lawyer Canada
A brain hemorrhage is a serious injury that causes bleeding to develop inside of the skull. This type of bleeding can be spontaneous as the result of a broken blood vessel or aneurysm, or because of a traumatic brain injury (TBI). There are other types of hemorrhages that can develop, which are referred to as extra axial. This means they develop inside of the boney part of the brain, also known as the cranium, but not within the actual brain tissue. Extra axial hemorrhages can be subarachnoid, epidural, and subdural.
Hemorrhages that occur in the brain tissue are referred to as intra axial hemorrhages, and are classified as one of the following: intraventricular hemorrhages, or intraparenchymal hemorrhages. Intraventricular hemorrhages develop in the spaces of the brain tissue that are filled with fluid. Intraparenchymal hemorrhages develop within the brain tissue itself. These types of brain bleeds are officially classified as strokes, and should be regarded as serious brain injuries. Unfortunately, the mortality rates for these types of hemorrhages are high and average about forty percent.
Brain hemorrhage lawyers work expressly with people who have been affected by these conditions and can help you to receive compensation for your injuries should they be due to any type of negligence, medical malpractice, improper surgical procedure or misdiagnoses.^^ back to the top
Symptoms and Warning Signs
The symptoms and warning signs for intracranial hemorrhages can differ to some extent depending on the size of the bleed, as well as the particular area of the brain that is affected by the bleed. Because of these issues, symptoms can appear gradually or may occur very suddenly. One of the most common symptoms is a rapidly occurring headache that is severe in nature and connected to seizures. A patient may also experience changes in vision, numbness or tingling in one arm or leg, general weakness, vomiting or nausea, difficulty speaking or comprehending, tremors in the hands, coordination and balance problems, difficulty with swallowing, diminished fine motor skill ability, unconsciousness, or a strange taste in the mouth. In some cases, difficulty with writing or reading may also be present.
Brain hemorrhage lawyers deal with many different types of cases, including those where a patient with early symptoms seeks medical attention from a hospital or other medical facility, and is simply dismissed with a headache and told to take a pain reliever. After a few hours of the patient returning home, he or she may lose consciousness, and have very little chance of fully recovering. This common scenario which involves negligence is a form of medical malpractice that can warrant substantial compensation. A brain hemorrhage lawyer will advise you on liability and the estimated award that you may expect to receive.^^ back to the top
Hemorrhage Risk Factors and Causes
One of the largest risk factors for brain hemorrhages is the condition of high blood pressure, which can increase the likelihood of a bleed by as much as six times. Another common cause of brain hemorrhages is a skull fracture or penetrating injury to the skull. These traumatic brain injuries can cause serious damage and bleeding. Aneurysms are another common cause, as are tumors. Risk factors such as smoking, consuming more than two alcoholic beverages per day, being menopausal, or having diabetes can also increase one�s chance of a hemorrhage.
Brain hemorrhages make up approximately thirteen percent of all strokes. The bleed can come from one or more blood vessels and fills the spaces between the cells. This then leads to brain swelling, which accounts for the sudden headache and other physical symptoms. When the blood continues to pool it forms a hematoma and can kill off the brain cells in that area.
Rare risk factors can include a blood vessel abnormality condition known as amyloid angiopathy, as well as conditions such as liver disease, sickle cell disease, or hemophilia.^^ back to the top
Anytime there is a suspicion of a brain hemorrhage, medical staff should order a CT scan of the head. Blood appears quite easily in these scans because it will glow much brighter than tissue that is not affected. Other issues such as fractures or tumors can also be seen on a CT scan.
When a physician fails to properly diagnose or treat a brain hemorrhage, a medical malpractice lawyer can help you receive compensation for your pain, suffering, and injuries.^^ back to the top
In order for treatment to have the best chance of success, doctors need to act quickly, order the correct scans, and determine if medication or surgery will best repair the damage. Medications such as factor VIIa can slow down bleeding as well as promote clotting. Blood pressure medication may also help to reduce bleeding. Other drugs such as pain medication can be given to provide some relief, while mannitol can reduce brain pressure.
If the patient has a bleeding disorder, protamine, plasma or platelet transfusions, or vitamin K may be administered. Seizures should be kept under control with anticonvulsant drugs, antacids should be given to prevent stomach ulcers from bleeding which is a common side effect of brain hemorrhages, and steroids can be administered to help with swelling reduction.
In severe cases, an intubation tube may be needed for breathing assistance, and IV fluids may be started. If the hematoma or aneurysm has grown past a diameter of three centimeters surgery will most likely be required. In these situations, the surgeon will place a catheter into the brain in order to dilate or close the blood vessels in an effort to stop the bleeding. Stereotactic or endoscopic surgery may also be used as a way to aspirate the blood if it is found in the basal ganglia area.
If the surgical procedure is found to be inadequate, negligence may have occurred, thereby worsening the hemorrhage or the side effects thereof. In these cases, a brain hemorrhage medical malpractice lawyer may be able to file a claim in order to recoup damages for the injuries sustained.^^ back to the top
Brain hemorrhages can be quite serious, especially if the hemorrhage has occurred in the brain stem. When the bleed is found in the medulla oblongata, the area that controls the vagus nerve responsible for circulation and respiration, nearly no patients survive. For hemorrhages in other areas of the brain, the death rate is approximately forty percent, or thirty four to fifty percent within thirty days following the hemorrhage. Half of all deaths from brain hemorrhages occur within the first few days.^^ back to the top
Even if a patient survives a brain hemorrhage, permanent brain damage can still result. There may be permanent speech issues, memory problems, and physical disabilities. The person may also develop a seizure disorder. In most cases, these complications do not disappear over time.^^ back to the top
How to Prevent Hemorrhages
While brain hemorrhages cannot always be prevented, taking certain precautions can help to reduce the risk. Not smoking, not using drugs, keeping your blood pressure under control, taking steps to avoid head injuries, and taking medications to manage medical conditions, such as clotting disorders, are all quite beneficial.^^ back to the top
Twenty percent of all stroke cases are directly linked to brain bleeds. Forty percent of all strokes are caused by cerebral thrombosis, and thirty percent are caused by cerebral embolism. In people of African descent, the risk of a brain hemorrhage is more than twice that of people of Caucasian descent.^^ back to the top
How a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Can Help
Our brain hemorrhage lawyers can help you deal with every aspect of your negligence claim, on a contingency basis, which means there are no fees incurred unless and until your case settles and you receive payment. Please feel free to call, email, or complete the contact form on this website to speak with a professional and receive a no obligation consultation.