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Medical Malpractice: How Brain Injuries Happen at Birth

Infants are perhaps the most vulnerable members of society, and though much is done to ensure their safety during the birthing process, they can become injured when doctors and nurses fail to perform their duties adequately. Unfortunately, this negligence often results in lifelong injuries that will forever haunt the child and their family.

Common Injuries at Birth

Brain injuries are perhaps most commonly associated with athletes, but infants can also experience serious brain injuries that effect them for the rest of their lives. Common birth injuries include:

Erb’s Palsy, an injury to the brachial plexus in which the nerves in the upper arm is injured.
Cerebral Palsy, a collection of neurological disorders that occur when a doctor uses equipment improperly.
Klumpke’s Palsy, an injury that occurs when a child’s neck is stretched
Facial paralysis, in which a child’s face is permanently paralyzed due to a doctor’s negligence
Brain Injuries, though considered rare, frequently stem from a doctor’s mistake in the delivery room
Delayed C-section

Medical Mistakes Leading to Brain Injuries

Birthing tools have been used throughout history to help doctors save babies in dangerous delivery situations. Unfortunately, though, these tools can turn deadly when used incorrectly. Forceps injuries are frequently to blame for infant brain injuries, as are vacuum extraction injuries. The use of both tools can cause serious trauma to the brain and in some cases, bleeding in the skull. The outcome is often serious and lasts a lifetime. In the hands of an inexperienced or negligent physician, a birthing tool can become dangerous. If your child was delivered with the assistance of such tools and suffered a brain injury as a result, you may be entitled to compensation.

All surgeries carry risks, and C-sections are no different. But when a C-section is delayed, the […]

March 20th, 2018

By the Numbers: TBI Facts and Statistics

While most of us acknowledge how scary brain injuries can be, few of us recognize just how debilitating they are for the people living with them. Traumatic brain injuries can completely change the lives of people who experience them, but it can be difficult for those who are not suffering from TBI to fully understand their complexities. By looking at statistics, facts and figures, however, we can get a better idea of the way brain injuries impact our society. Here are a few numbers to put brain injuries in perspective:

One in sixty people live with a traumatic brain injury-related disability in the United States.

40.5 percent of brain injuries are caused by slips, trips and falls.

137 people die every day from a brain injury.

50,000 die each year from a brain injury.

280,000 are hospitalized with brain injuries annually.

2.2 million will be treated in an emergency room for a brain injury this year.

3.5 million – the number of people diagnosed with brain injuries in the United States each year.

Though these numbers may seem staggering, it is important to remember that these are just the statistics for the United States. The figures are even higher when you factor in the nations around the world. Because the leading causes of brain trauma are not always preventable, it is important to get victims the treatment they need as soon as possible. If you or someone you love experiences a head injury, be sure to seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers

Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of a brain injury, you can be […]

March 20th, 2018

Dementia and Brain Injuries: The Growing Link

We all know about the dangers of concussions and some of the immediate ramifications that head trauma can have on a person. Few of us recognize, however, the long-term impact of traumatic brain injuries on our health. Tragically, there is a growing link between TBI and early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

The Results of the Study

A study recently published in the journal Neuropsychology found that those who experienced head injuries and lost consciousness for more than five minutes were more likely to be diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s than their peers who did not experience similar head wounds. Sadly, the diagnoses came significantly earlier than those without brain injuries, too. Those with a history of brain injuries were diagnosed, on average, 2.5 years earlier than those without.

Avoiding Dementia, Brain Injuries

While scientists and doctors are still working to fully understand the relationship between dementia and brain injuries, there are certain steps people can take to ensure they are not impacted by the connection. Avoiding sports where head injuries are likely is a good first step, but most head wounds come from car accidents and slips, trips and falls. Those are not necessarily the most preventable incidents, so instead, be sure to seek medical attention as soon after such an accident as possible. Early detection can help mitigate some of the worst symptoms of traumatic brain injuries.

As the medical community continues to map the human brain and understand more about the way the mind works, we’ll get a better understanding of the impact injuries have on them.

Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers

Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else. If […]

March 20th, 2018

New Concussion Test is Approved by FDA

Concussions and other head trauma could be more easily diagnosed thanks to a new test recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator was recently announced as the latest approved test for brain trauma. If successfully used, the test could eliminate as many as one third of all CT scans currently necessary to diagnose brain trauma. Because such scans expose patients to radiation, the Banyan brain trauma indicator is a clearly better alternative. The test has significant ramifications for the medical and sports world.

Concussion Diagnosis

Traditionally, diagnosing head injuries has been done through neurological testing and CT scans. These require a trip to the doctor, multiple tests and, above all else, time. In many cases, people do not take their head injuries seriously enough. Symptoms do not always show up right away, and so many fail to get checked out in the immediate aftermath of a blow to the head. This new test could possibly be used in the field, which would make checking for concussions quicker and easier than ever before.

Changing Attitudes

Not everyone has taken concussions seriously in the past. Frequently dismissed as “getting your bell rung,” it wasn’t until recently that scientists fully understood the severe damage that can be done when a person is struck in the head. Unlike other more evident injuries, brain injuries often do not make themselves known for weeks or even months after the fact. As science has evolved, though, more and more people are taking traumatic brain injuries seriously. Even the NFL has begun pledging millions of dollars to studying CTE.
Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers
Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident […]

March 20th, 2018

Could Infant Brain Damage Lead to Autism?

Decades of brain injury research has culminated in a shocking revelation: a link between brain damage in premature newborns and autism. The findings were recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics. The Neonatal Brain Hemorrhage Study began in the 1980s, with researchers looking at the impact that brain injuries at birth have on premature newborns. Using cranial ultrasounds, researchers were able to analyze the brains of more than 1,000 babies weighing between 1.1 and 4.4 pounds.

A Lifetime of Research

These ultrasounds revealed which infants had suffered brain injuries, hemorrhaging, or ventricular enlargements in their brain tissue. By tracking the participants through their lifetime and checking in with them at age 21, researchers noticed a dramatic pattern: premature babies who suffered brain injuries were three times as likely to develop autism than their premature peers who did not have brain injuries.

Scientists believe the link may lie in the damage done to the enlarged ventricles of some children suffering from brain injuries. When the spaces in their brain are filled with cerebrospinal fluid, there is a sevenfold increase in risk of autism when compared with controls.

Other Risk Factors

Low birth weight can also play a role in a child’s chances of developing autism. Because so much is still yet to be discovered about autism and how exactly it develops, these risk factors must be taken seriously. Still, not all children with low birth weights or those suffering from infant brain injuries necessarily develop autism.

Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers

Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one is suffering from the effects of a brain […]

March 10th, 2018

Tips for Managing Children with Brain Injuries

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control has recommendations for parents of children suffering from traumatic brain injuries. Their findings suggest that the actions taken by parents immediately following a child’s blow to the head can dramatically impact the long-term prognosis. In order to mitigate the worst of the damage, parents should take the following steps:
It is critical for parents to recognize when their child may have suffered a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Not all injuries lead to open wounds or serious pain. Closed head injuries occur all the time, especially in car accidents. Though the brain slams into the front of the skull, there is rarely any blood or other outward sign of problems. Instead, symptoms can take weeks and even months to appear.
Not every blow to the head requires hospitalization, but parents should do all they can to monitor their child’s mood and behavior following the accident. By keeping a close eye on the development of any symptoms, parents can catch the brain injury in its tracks. Anyone concerned about their child’s health should always seek out medical attention.
A team of doctors and nurses can help parents care for their children after a head injury. Kids often need ongoing, monitored care coordinated by their parents. By working with the child’s teacher, school and doctors, parents can set their child up for the most successful future possible.

By following all three of the above methods, parents can mitigate the worst damage done by brain injuries.
Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers
Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have sustained a traumatic brain injury in an accident that was caused by the negligence of someone else. If you or a loved one […]

March 10th, 2018

What All Parents of Infants with TBI Should Know

There are few things in life more exciting than the addition of a new baby. Unfortunately, though, not all babies are delivered with the care and attention necessary for good health. When a doctor or nurse fails to provide adequate care, infants can suffer brain injuries at birth. Tragically, such injuries can impact a child for the rest of their life.

New parents have a lot to learn, but those with babies suffering traumatic brain injuries need to be knowledgeable about even more health risks than the average parent. Keep these in mind if your child has TBI:

Monitor development closely.

Any time a baby fails to reach certain developmental milestones, a red flag is raised about the child’s abilities. While all parents should watch out for such red flags, they are especially important for parents of babies suffering from brain injuries. Any new symptoms or developmental delays should be reported to the doctor as soon as possible to determine if intervention is possible.

Injuries don’t need to be severe for you to file a claim.

Many families assume that because the injuries their child suffered at birth aren’t “that bad” means they aren’t justified in pursuing legal action against negligent doctors and nurses. While it’s true that the headline-making settlements of millions of dollars usually only apply to severe cases, plenty of families seek claims on behalf of infants who suffered even relatively minor brain injuries at birth. The reality is that many will not fully understand the potential impact brain injuries can have on a child until months or years after birth, so it pays to do your homework and speak with an attorney.

Take action sooner rather than later.

Once a child turns eighteen, their chance to pursue […]

March 10th, 2018

More Evidence Links Football to Brain Injuries

99 perfect of football players who donated their bodies to science after their deaths show evidence of devastating brain trauma. That’s the news out of the Boston University School of Medicine’s CTE center. CTE, or chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is a condition that appears in those who experience repetitive brain trauma.

The study revealed that 110 out of the 111 deceased National Football League players had signs of CTE when examined. The brain disease was found in 91 percent of deceased college football players and 88 percent of Canadian Football League players. 21 percent of high school football players showed signs of the disease.

People with CTE often experience memory problems, mood disorders and lack of impulse control. They’re often aggressive, suffer from paranoia and progressive dementia can occur.

The severity of the CTE depends largely upon how long the football player was active, but even high school players should mild signs of the disease. This research shows a clear connection between CTE and repetitive hits to the head in sports like football.

Of course, football isn’t the only way people develop this disease. The number one cause of head injuries in the United States come from slips and falls. Such accidents can happen at any time. Very few people see a slip or fall coming, so the damage done can be shocking. CTE can have long-reaching ramifications no matter how a person developed the disease.

Because CTE can only be diagnosed after death, it’s hard to understand the full extent of the symptoms. As science gets closer to detecting CTE in living people, we’re learning just how badly the disease can impact people.
Finding the Best Lawyer for Your Brain Injury Case
In order to succeed in a claim for brain injury, […]

July 26th, 2017

Slips and Falls Send Millions to ER with Brain Injuries

When you hear the term traumatic brain injury, where does your mind go?

For many, the phrase brings to mind burly NFL players smacking their helmets against their opponents. For others, they picture soccer players heading the ball towards a teammate or goal. But new data is causing many people to rethink what they thought they knew about traumatic brain injuries and their causes.

The Centers for Disease Control has published their findings on brain injury related emergency room visits for the years 2007 through 2013. In 2013 alone, there were more than 2 million ER visits for head injuries. More than 50,000 people succumbed to head injuries that year.

Most revealing are the common causes of the injuries. Slips, trips and falls were the number one reason why victims suffered brain injuries. Car accidents and being struck by an object were two other common causes.

One of the most revealing portions of the data showed a disturbing growing trend: the increased rate of older adults experiencing brain injuries after slipping and falling. The report called the need for older Americans to receive help in avoiding such accidents “critical.” Protecting their health and independence is crucial.

Since March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, we’re especially tuned into this need. Too often, sports stars – not grandparents – are the face of such campaigns. But in our own daily lives, there’s a far greater chance that an older loved one will experience a serious brain injury in their own home than our kids will on the field. Spread the word about the dangers of brain injuries to the loved ones in your life – young and old.

Virginia Brain Injury Lawyers

Richard Serpe, a Virginia brain injury lawyer, represents victims that have […]

March 22nd, 2017

Life With a TBI: The Silent Epidemic

A slip. A fall. A car accident. A hit on the football field. In one moment, lives are forever changed. These are the leading causes of traumatic brain injuries, or TBI. Called the “invisible” injury, TBI can impact people long after other injuries have been treated. Broken bones mend and scrapes heal, but for many victims, TBI is for life.

Too often, though,TBI victims go unnoticed and untreated because of the invisible nature of their condition. Many find they cannot hold down day jobs or socialize in the ways they did before their injury. That’s where organizations like Beacon House come in.

TBI Survivors Find Hope at Beacon House

More than 36,000 people in Hampton Roads live with disabilities caused by a traumatic brain injury. For 40 of those individuals, Beacon House in Virginia Beach is a safe haven.

There are no patients at Beacon House. Since 2008, the clubhouse-style organization has provided services to adults living with disabilities caused by a brain injury. Members there work together to support each other in the pursuit of personal goals. In the process, people develop the skills and self-esteem needed to regain control of meaningful and productive lives.

While at Beacon House, members work side by side with staff to keep their clubhouse running successfully. Some choose to work in the garden, while others update the monthly calendar or work on the organization’s newsletter.

Through participation in Beacon House, people have the opportunity to rejoin the worlds of friendships, family, important work, employment, education, and to access the services and support they may need. A restorative environment, Beacon House offers structure for those who have had their lives drastically disrupted. The organization also provides support to the families of the brain injury […]

March 7th, 2017