Brain Injury Diagnosis
Head Injury Lawyer
How is a Brain Injury Diagnosed? - In a brain injury, unlike most other injuries, how the accident happened is more important that what the current symptoms are. It’s essential that your physician knows what events led up to the trauma, how the head was struck, in what manner and when. Since symptoms are not always indicative of the severity of the accident right away, the accident itself is important to the treatment. In many cases, witnesses are more important than the actual patient’s immediate condition.
Subsequent exams are then used to assess what injuries may have occurred other than those that are immediately obvious. A physician will typically assess respiration and circulation to determine if the injured patient’s condition is stable. Should the patient fail those tests, he or she might need life-saving attention. Of course, those who are unconscious at arrival will obviously need a trauma team and immediate attention.
But if a patient is reasonably responsive the diagnosis can be much more difficult. Physicians will usually check whether the pupils constrict normally in response to light, which is a sign of brain injury. When no other injuries are present, the head will be examined via a neurologic exam.
A trauma professional will typically first check for a basilar skull fracture (a skull fracture to the bones that hold the brain). Another particularly weak part of the skull is the pterion, which is found deep in the skull and in the middle meningeal artery. That artery is easily damaged in pterion fractures – which is often a secondary injury following a traumatic brain injury.
But of paramount importance will be the existence of secondary injuries, such as damage to the blood-brain barrier, which will cause local inflammation or total edema, where the entire brain swells or where blood flow within the brain is compromised. Since any excess pressure within the skull can cause partial or total brain death, the diagnosis needs to be quick and direct.
At CAT, or CT, or computed tomography scan, will assist in diagnosis and is the most common form of neurological exam. The scan is quick and accurate, which is essential in a brain injury. The CT scan will show blood accumulation, swelling among other symptoms of brain injuries.
But a hospital will also use magnetic resonance imaging, or (MRI), to get more detail which will then aid a long-term prognosis. An MRI is more useful than CT for detecting smaller injuries, but not as critical in determining the presence of fluids in the cranium. It also tends to take much longer, so it is typically not the first exam performed in an emergency.
Some of these may problems may be medically alleviated. Financially, however, it will likely be a difficult process. Any relief from the situation will likely be critical. Having an attorney with a focus in brain injury litigation is critical in providing you the opportunity to get the financial compensation you deserve. You will not pay a thing unless you win your lawsuit. If you win or settle your lawsuit, The Doan Law Firm will charge a percentage of the compensation amount, leaving you free from the costs of the actual court case.
The Doan Law Firm can assist in determining damages owed you after a brain injury. The Doan Law Firm knows that although accidents don’t wait for daylight hours to happen. However, we’re available to answer your phone call any time, day or night, at (800) 349-0000. Contact us today!
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