two doctors looking at an x-ray of the brain

MisdiagnosisMisdiagnosed Brain Injury Lawyers

Misdiagnosed Head Injuries may lead to Permanent Brain Damage or Death

A bleed in the brain after an injury can escalate from minor symptoms to excruciating pain.

Assume The WorstIf a doctor does not eliminate a bleed in the brain as a cause of complaints the damage from the untreated bleed may exponentially grow.

An acute subdural hematoma is a bleed in the brain usually caused by trauma. Most subdural hematomas are cause by car accidents, falls, sports injuries or assaults. For more vulnerable populations a brain bleed may be caused by less severe forms of trauma. The signs of a subdural hematoma include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Impaired balance or coordination (ataxia)
  • Confusion
  • Lack of energy (lethargy)
  • Nausea or vomiting

If you sought medical care after a car accident, fall or other trauma and you had some of these symptoms the health care provider should look for further signs of a brain injury such as a subdural hematoma and should conduct a complete neurologic exam. A misdiagnosis of a brain injury or concussion is potentially fatal medical error.

A Neurological And Physical ExamFindings from these exams may require an Emergency CT scan of the Head

The patient that arrives with complaints as listed above should be examined by a medical professional. The doctor should look for evidence of head trauma, impaired consciousness, neurologic deficits such as an inability to speak or understand speech, a slowing of the heart rate coupled with high blood pressure, unilateral pupil dilation and impaired mental status. Mental status is typically evaluated by the using the Glascow Coma Scale (GCS). This is a scale used to measure a patient’s ability to open their eyes, respond verbally and to respond with movement. The test was first utilized in the 1970s and is adept at identifying patients that have sustained more serious head injuries. The GSC scores are often normal for people that have sustained concussions or are suffering from a recent slow bleed in the brain.

The patient should be asked about the details of any recent injuries. The doctor will need to assess whether there is a mechanism of injury that potentially could have caused a bleed in the brain. The doctor also needs to assess the susceptibility of the patient to a subdural hematoma. The doctor will need to know if the patient is taking blood thinners that may increase the risk of a subdural hematoma and may lead to a more serious subdural hematoma.

If the symptoms and examination are indicative of a possible subdural hematoma a noncontrast CT scan of the brain should be ordered. Recent bleeding on or about the brain will appear bright on the images. A small early bleed will result in subtle findings. If a bleed in the brain is discovered appropriate treatments and/or monitoring will need to be implemented.

Immediate Action RequiredDelays in action may lead to permanent brain damage

The first step with a serious head injury is to make sure that the patient’s airway is open, the patient is breathing and that there is adequate circulation. The cervical spine should also be stabilized because cervical spine injuries often accompany head injuries. Patients with the most serious head injuries will often need to be intubated and mechanically ventilated.

A bleed in the brain potentially will increase pressure in the cranium. Increased pressure can damage the brain. Medication such a mannitol may be administered to lower intracranial pressure while a patient awaits emergency surgery. Surgical intervention typically involves craniotomy with removal of the hematoma. This surgical procedure results in a rapid decrease of intracranial pressure.

Patients that are on blood thinners are at an increased risk for complications. Medication can be administered to reverse the effects of blood thinners that were administered prior to the brain injury. Patients should be monitored for seizures and may require the use of a monitor to track intracranial pressure.

They Missed The BleedThe delay has left me with permanent problems

If you or a loved one are concerned that medical providers failed to detect a treatable brain injury such as a bleed in the brain or otherwise failed to address the bleed then please contact the brain injury lawyers at Patterson Law. Medical Malpractice attorney, George Patterson has helped a client that was sent home after seeking medical care for a headache and neck pain after a car accident. The client was on blood thinner medication. This placed her at a higher risk for a bleed in the brain and an increased risk that the bleed would continue without surgical intervention. The symptoms progressed and emergency surgery was required days after she had sent home.

Many victims of brain injuries are dissatisfied with the treatments after they have recovered sufficiently to return home. Many people will be left with permanent residuals from a traumatic bleed in the brain that was timely treated. These problems may be profound, such as paralysis but many are frustrating life altering problems such as difficulty concentrating, depression, irritability, difficulty recognizing emotions in others or problems with locating and selecting the right words. These types of problems are best evaluated by neuropsychologists that work with neurologists. Please contact medical malpractice lawyer, George Patterson for a free consultation to assess whether brain damage could have been avoided by a timely diagnosis and treatment.

Epilepsy after a traumatic brain injury in the elderly is an often unrecognized complication by the patient because most seizures begin 6 months to two years after the trauma.

George Patterson is a competent, empathetic, and reliable trial advocate. He listened to my concerns and developed a theory and theme for my case that was consistent with my position. He understood my case very well and he devised a strategy that worked. From the beginning, he was prepared to go to trial.


A Client And A Lawyer

Traumatic brain injuries are the most underdiagnosed and treated injuries that I have seen as lawyer. It should not be surprising that many victims of trauma have undiagnosed head injuries when professional football teams with team doctors developed a generation of retired football players with CTE the were often never diagnosed with a single head injury.

George Patterson

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

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If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident or suffered a serious personal injury due to someone else’s negligence please contact the best personal injury lawyers at Patterson Law. George Patterson has been featured in an article published in the Best Lawyers in America. The “best” injury lawyers may be reached at their Annapolis or Bowie offices at 301-888-4878.

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