Brain injuries can be caused by external forces or internal events. Traumatic brain injuries are caused by external forces such as a blow to the head or whiplash, are normally the result of an accident such as a car crash, explosion, or falling. Brain injuries can also be caused by oxygen deprivation which can be the result of an accident such as drowning, or a medical event such as a stroke or anesthesia error. Often, brain injuries are the result of medical error. Many brain injuries can be prevented, or the damage can be reduced, if the cause is recognized and treated early.
Most traumatic brain injuries are caused by an accident such as a fall or a car crash. Often these injuries go undetected when there is no visible wound or the victim does not loose consciousness. Whiplash or any violent movement of the head can cause injury to the brain without external injury. The brain can be jarred inside the skull causing bruising and tearing tissues, nerves and blood vessels. Traumatic brain injury is often the result of:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Violent acts
Brain injuries can also be caused by oxygen deprivation. The brain must have oxygen to survive. Brain injuries caused by oxygen deprivation are called anoxic brain injuries. Anoxic brain injuries can be caused by:
- Blood loss
- Anesthesia mistakes
- Medication overdose
- Severe asthma
- Cardiovascular disease
Brain infections can cause brain injuries. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in preventing brain injuries caused by brain infections. Brain infections include:
- Cerebral cysticercosis
Strokes present grave danger to the brain. A stroke can cause oxygen deprivation to the brain by reducing blood flow. Strokes can also cause damage to the brain by causing the brain to release chemicals that kill brain cells. When this occurs action must be taken immediately to prevent spreading of the damage.
Birth injuries can cause brain injuries. This type of brain injury is usually the result of oxygen deprivation or trauma to the baby’s head. Brain injuries sustained during birth are often due to these medical errors:
- Failure to perform a timely c-section
- Failure to monitor fetus and respond to fetal distress
- Improper use of delivery instruments including forceps and vacuum
- Failure to diagnose and treat medical problems in the mother
- Failure to give oxygen to newborns when needed
- Administration of improper medications during pregnancy and/or delivery
Of the hundreds of thousands of brain injuries each year, most could have been prevented. Traffic accidents, unsafe work conditions, defective products, medical malpractice, and other negligence loom in the background as the underlying cause for most brain injuries. The life-long physical, emotional and financial hardships endured by brain injury victims and their families are often made even more painful by the knowledge that, had the right action been taken sooner, the tragedy could have been avoided.
If you or someone you know has had brain injury or a similar personal injury claim, please consult a personal injury lawyer such as Marc Whitehead in Houston, Texas as soon as possible.