The Brain Injury Association of America, known as BIAA, has declared March 2013 to be Brain Injury Awareness Month. According to BIAA, 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries occur annually. Because of the complex interconnectedness of the different regions of the brain, even a mild brain injury like a concussion can wreak havoc on a person's ability to function and on the body's healthy operation.
The brain injury experience
Brain injuries can cause temporary or permanent damage; may cause immediate or delayed problems; can penetrate the skull or be internal from a blow or jolt; and can cause a wide array of symptoms and limitations, including:
- Loss of consciousness
- Reduced cognition and concentration
- Impairment in language expression or comprehension
- Depressed or anxious mood
- Memory problems
- Difficulty with motor skills
- Abnormal behavior
- Sensory impairments
- Sleep problems
- Persistent vegetative state
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the leading causes of brain injury are falls, motor-vehicle accidents, assaults and "struck by/against events." Unfortunately, another cause of brain injury can be medical malpractice or physician negligence.
In New York, hospitals, doctors and other health care professionals have the duty to adhere to accepted local medical standards of care when providing patient treatment. If a medical professional fails to do so or practices medicine negligently or without reasonable care, and a patient is harmed as a result, the physician or other professional may be liable in a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Brain injury from medical malpractice can happen in many scenarios, but may include:
- Negligent medical treatment during labor, delivery or birth that causes brain injury to an infant
- Failure to respond appropriately to symptoms of concern in a patient
- Inappropriate medication administration, prescription or dosage amount
- Insufficient patient monitoring
- Negligent interpretation of medical test results or failure to act appropriately in response to test results
- Mistakes during anesthesia
And many other situations
Consult with a skilled legal professional
It is important that anyone injured in the course of medical treatment, or with a loved one who died suspiciously during a hospital stay or while in the care of a medical professional, consult with an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can explain the person's legal rights and potential legal remedies. A medical negligence case can require intense, careful investigation on behalf of the injured patient, including meticulous review of medical and hospital records, and the lawyer can spearhead such an inquiry.