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Brain Injuries Due to Medical Malpractice
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Brains can easily be injured in a number of ways, including at the hands of a doctor. Negligent doctors and medical personnel can cause harm to patients through their carelessness and mistakes. Occasionally this harm can include brain injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered a brain injury due to negligent medical care, our Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys are available to help.
Brain Injuries Due to Medical Error
Brain injuries can be caused by a number of medical errors and situations, including:
- Oxygen deprivation
- Medication errors
- Surgical mistakes
- Complications from procedures
- Failure to treat hypotension (very low blood pressure)
- Compression of the trachea
Permanent Brain Injuries
Some patients who suffer brain injuries never recover 100%. Serious cognitive defects and physical impairments from brain injuries often affect quality of life and impair activities of daily living. For example, a patient whose stroke is misdiagnosed at an emergency room may sustain a brain injury that results in permanent paralysis and disability.
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Medical Malpractice – How Brain Injuries Occur
Diminished or a complete lack of oxygen is one of the leading causes of brain injury in a medical setting. Brain cells can begin to die off after five minutes without oxygen. Known as hypoxia, the deprivation of oxygen can cause comas, seizures, and even brain death. Even a few moments without oxygen may be enough to cause lasting harm.
Oxygen deprivation can occur for a number of reasons. During birth, an infant may suffer from decreased blood flow due to a tangled umbilical cord, a ruptured placenta, or other delivery complications. Careful monitoring and timely intervention can often prevent brain injuries during birth. Delaying emergency C-section deliveries can increase the risk of oxygen deprivation and brain damage for newborns.
Oxygen deprivation can also occur as the result of surgical complications. Failure to appropriately ventilate a patient during surgery, incorrectly performed surgeries, or complications from general anesthesia may also cause brain injuries. It is critical that medical personnel carefully monitor patients and correctly perform all procedures to prevent these injuries from occurring.
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Medication & Anesthesia
Complications from medications or anesthesia can also lead to brain injuries. Side effects from medications, including allergic reactions, may cause asphyxiation, inflammation, or coma. Prescribing or administering an incorrect dose of medication, or even the wrong medication, can have lasting consequences for patients.
Anesthesia is one of the leading causes of medical malpractice claims and can cause brain damage. These injuries can be caused by physician error or miscalculations, Patients under anesthesia should also be closely monitored for signs of distress or decreased functioning while they are in surgery. If a patient sustains a brain injury while under anesthesia, there may be medical negligence to blame.
Surgical procedures can be complicated and come with a certain amount of risk for patients. All possible care should be taken by medical personnel to reduce these risks and prevent injury for the patient. During surgery, many patients are put under general anesthesia. Incorrect use of anesthesia can cause brain damage. Patients also may experience blood loss or inadequate ventilation or circulatory assistance while undergoing surgery. Patients should be monitored closely to ensure that they are not in any distress during the operation.
While surgery on other parts of the body may come with the risk of brain damage, brain surgery can easily cause injuries to the brain. Surgeons may be careless or inattentive while operating and may operate on the wrong part of the brain. Swelling, infections, and other complications can also endanger the brain and may cause lasting damage.
Mistakes can cause patient injuries easily, but how do they happen? Doctors are expected to meet a certain standard of care for their patients. This includes quickly and accurately diagnosing and treating conditions, illnesses, and injuries. Doctors should use necessary tests to find the correct diagnosis and begin treatment for their patients. Unfortunately, negligent medical care can prevent this from occurring and may allow patients to suffer lasting harm.
There are many medical personnel that will work with a patient while they are being treated. These professionals can include nurses, orderlies, physicians, dieticians, therapists, and specialists. With so many involved in treatment, it is important to keep careful records and facilitate communication between all the medical professionals involved. Strong communication can help prevent mistakes, which can cause painful or even debilitating injuries.
Inadequate training can also be a cause of brain injuries. Medical professionals who do not receive adequate, thorough training may be a risk to patients. Training can include medical treatments and procedures, but can also include important day to day protocols to protect patients from infection and injury, such as proper sanitization, bandaging, maintaining records, and other tasks.
Compensation for Brain Injuries from Medical Malpractice in Pennsylvania
If you or a loved one has sustained a brain injury due to medical negligence, you are entitled to compensation. Brain injuries can be very serious, and may greatly impact the victim’s ability and quality of life. More severe injuries can require extensive medical treatment and victims may need ongoing assistance throughout their lives. Brain injuries can lead to diminished functioning, and families may be placed under strain by the sudden and new needs of their injured loved one. Because of the lasting and widespread impact a brain injury can have on a victim’s life, it is critical to receive the compensation that you deserve.
Medical bills, in-home nursing, mobility aids, and other costs can quickly add up. If your family is suddenly faced with paying for medical treatment and care after a brain injury, you should contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney to discuss your claim. Physician error can occur, but your family shouldn’t have to face the consequences alone.
Get Help from PA Medical Malpractice Lawyers – (610) 825-0500
At Morris Wilson Knepp Jacquette, P.C., we understand the difficulties your family may be facing in the wake of a brain injury. We are here to help your family fight for the compensation you deserve, and we are passionate about protecting the rights of our injured clients. Our team of Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorneys have a combined 100 years of experiencing handling complex medical malpractice cases. We will take the time to discuss your case with you, and we pride ourselves on offering personalized legal representation to every client.
Last reviewed: March 4, 2022
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Cases Also Accepted Across Pennsylvania
Chestnut Hill Hospital
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Roxborough Memorial Hospital
Temple University Hospital
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Crozer-Chester Medical Center (Upland)
Delaware County Memorial Hospital (Drexel Hill, Upper Darby)
Springfield Hospital (Springfield)
Taylor Hospital (Ridley)
Abington Hospital (Abington, Lansdale)
Bryn Mawr Hospital (Bryn Mawr)
Einstein Medical (East Norriton, Elkins Park)
Holy Redeemer Hospital (Meadowbrook)
Lankenau Hospital (Wynnewood)
Suburban Community Hospital (Norristown)
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (Phila., West Chester, East Norriton, Meadowbrook, Doylestown, Langhorne, Sellersville, etc.)
St. Christopher's Hospital for Children
Shriner's Hospitals for Children
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