A doctor reviews an MRI for brain injury with her patient after a stroke.

What is a Traumatic Brain Injury? 

A Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury that is caused by an external blow to the head or by the attack of any foreign body on the brain. This type of brain injury necessitates something to hit the head and brain hard and deep enough to harm the skull and leave traces of trauma inside the brain. Whereas other types of brain injuries, for example, non-traumatic brain injuries, can initiate without any foreign body hitting the head or brain at all and might occur internally in several ways. Non-traumatic brain injuries such as stroke, near-drowning, aneurysm, heart attack due to lack of oxygen, infectious diseases like meningitis, etc., by fact, need no blow, jolt, or attack on the head or brain.  

Is a Stroke a Traumatic Brain Injury?

Among the non-traumatic types of brain injuries, stroke is a common type of acquired brain injury (ABI) that does not involve physical trauma. Stroke causes in the human body due to a blockage in the large blood vessels located in the neck. This condition of blockage in the vessels can be initiated by a blood clot, hardening of the arteries, or the bursting of blood vessels. Because of this obstruction, proper blood flow cannot reach the brain; as a result, the brain does not receive the oxygen-rich blood that it requires. A stroke brain injury has the potential to damage several different parts of the brain, which can result in severe disabilities. It requires immediate or emergent medical attention and care. That way, the patient’s life might be saved; otherwise, the effects can be drastic. 

Strokes Can Sometimes Result in Significant Functional Deficits

Similar to traumatic brain injuries, a non-traumatic brain injury like stroke may begin almost instantly when the brain is deprived of the oxygenated blood that it requires. Brain cells might die within minutes of lack of supply of oxygenated blood to it. The most dangerous facet of non-supply of oxygenated blood to brain cells is that, its effect grows exponentially if the situation continues. Death of the patient might occur if s/he is not attended with emergency care. Even if a life can be saved, the persistent lack of oxygenated blood in the brain, along with the lack of emergency medical care, will mostly result in life-altering or cognitive damage to the body. Usually, a stroke leaves a life-altering effect in the body even if treated on time. 

Effects of Stroke Can Significantly Vary in Different Cases

Acquired brain injuries (ABIs) sustained by stroke victims can vary greatly, just like other types of brain injuries. Strokes have the capacity to affect every brain region, but in various ways and to varying degrees. Symptoms of a stroke might vary inconsistently from case to case. The following are some of the common symptoms of an ABI and a stroke:

·   Impairments in mobility and dexterity, mainly affecting one side of the body

·   Sudden numbness

·   Loss of abilities, especially those necessary for essential self-care

·   Inability to speak, or difficulty locating the appropriate words

·   A state of confusion and disorientation

·   Inability to concentrate and focus properly

·   Response times have significantly slowed down.

·   Memory problems, including loss of short-term memory

·   Problems with vertigo and equilibrium

·   Headaches

·   Double vision

·   Lack of the ability to smell

·   Hearing loss or ringing in the ears

·   Alterations in both emotions and behaviors, as well as fundamental shifts in personality

Stroke Brain Injury Treatment

Strokes can start with light symptoms, like a breathing issue with a headache, sweating, and instability of thought process. However, it can become so severe within minutes that the victim might pass away nearly immediately. Most elderly patients who suffer strokes will require some form of rehabilitation or therapy. This can help recover some of the lost skills, regain some lost strength, and in scanty cases, recover from permanent impairments. Treating stroke is quite crucial because time is of essence. Each second that the brain passes with a stroke keeps deteriorating the overall condition. Most patients suffer spasticity, pain, foot drop, fatigue, contractures, or muscle weakness at one side of the body or discreetly in different body parts. Thus, treating stroke can vary from case to case based on which of the effects take over on a particular patient and on what level of severity. Some of the treatments are- rehabilitation (to assess the damage to brain cells and treat it), physiotherapy (to treat muscle weakness), occupational therapy (to treat and recover the ability to do daily activities, e.g., lost speech and movement), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), relaxation and meditation (to treat changes in sensation). 

Inpatient rehabilitation can be the most effective treatment for a serious stroke. This treatment involves the patient in therapy throughout the entirety of the day and practicing their newly acquired abilities under close observation. The aim is to recover the ability to do daily movement and regain personal independence or basic life activities. If the damage is so severe that this is no longer an option, they will likely require long-term and continuous treatment. The family may need to investigate options such as a nursing home, in-home care, or other possibilities.

Call Our Brain Injury Law Firm Today

Usually, strokes do not involve any trauma caused by a person who might be negligent to the cause or so. Thus, a negligence claim is not a primary argument for a stroke patient in personal injury cases. However, if a patient has been taken to doctors with reasonably diagnosed symptoms of a stroke, but not diagnosed in time by the doctors and consequently not treated for a stroke, a claim of negligence on the part of caregivers may arise. In that case, the hospital and that doctor could be held accountable for their mistake or negligent act and the patient might recover damages from them. 

The experienced brain injury attorneys at TonaLaw will analyze your case to assess whether or not medical malpractice played a role in worsening brain injuries. This firm holds the experience of over 50 years pursuing payouts for families like yours. To book your free case review, call 1-833-TONALAW or contact us online.

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