New York Subdural Hematoma
According to our team of New York Brain Injury Lawyers, a traumatic brain injury is one of the most common causes of death and physical impairment in the United States. This type of head injury results from an external force impacts the head and injures the brain. A TBI can occur from a slip and fall, brutal assault or auto accident (i.e. motorcycle accident, car accident and truck accident are the most common). Traumatic brain injuries can include minor concussion, brain contusion or a subdural hematoma.
Often these injuries occur due to an accident, that is caused by the negligence of another. Negligence is generally defined as conduct that falls below the standard of care established by law for the protection of others against reasonable harm. The duty that someone is held to depends on the activity that the parties are engaged in. For instance, a person acting as a physician is held to a particular standard of care that a reasonable, profession physician should have.
In order to have a cause of action, several elements must be present. There must be a duty owed to the plaintiff. The duty must have been breached in some way, by either their action or inaction. This breach must have been the cause, or contributed to the injury to the plaintiff (causation). Lastly, the plaintiff must have sustained damages (injury) as a result of the breach.
A subdural hematoma (SDH), or subdural hemorrhage, is a gathering of blood between the Dura and the cerebral tissue. Subdural hematomas usually appear as the result from traumatic brain injury (TBI). The hemorrhage can be from a focal lesion, torn cerebral tissue, damaged blood vessel or damage to the interior tissue of the Dura. The resulting buildup of blood can elevate the internal cranial pressure, compress and damage the tissues of the brain. The accumulation of blood under the brain tissue can also irritate the brain and lead to a seizure condition.
Signs and symptoms of subdural hematomas can appear in minutes or up to weeks following a traumatic accident. Symptoms of subdural hematomas can include irritability, loss of consciousness, slurred speech, disorientation, amnesia, ataxia, altered respiratory pattern, headache and seizure.
It is important to note that a serious head injury if not properly attended to, can escalate in to a potential fatal health problem. Often when it is evident that there is excessive bleeding, a physician will make efforts to relieve the building pressure in skull. Failure to do so can cause serious brain damage, seizure, coma and even death.
Medical malpractice may be present when the physician failed to act in a reasonably appropriate way given the circumstances. If you believe that a malpractice claim may be present, it is important to act promptly.
The New York Brain Injury Lawyers at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC have learned that between 10% and 30% of TBI patients are suffering from a subdural hemorrhage. Subdural hematomas can vary from chronic to acute, depending on the rate of onset. The severity of the hematoma is determined with the use of the Glasgow Coma Scale and the analysis of the size and thickness of the hemorrhage. Generally, a patient with an SDH thickness of 10mm or greater, along with a Glasgow Coma Scale rating of 9 or less, should receive surgical evacuation. Chronic subdural hematomas are not life-threatening, even left untreated. Trauma induced acute subdural hematomas are the most lethal type of brain injury and if not lethal can cause permanent brain damage due to the tremendous impact forces causing other serious injuries as well. These can include skull injury, brain contusion, brain swell, eye orbital fracture and concussion to name just a few.
Age is an increased factor in subdural hematomas. The very young and very old are at higher risk for SDH. The brain shrinks with age creating a larger subdural cavity. The blood vessels have to span the increased space, combined with arterial hardening, putting them at higher risk for tears. Infants also have a larger subdural space, and subdural hematomas are commonly endured in shaken baby syndrome. The use of blood thinners or alcohol can also increase the risk for subdural hemorrhage.
If you are suffering from the effects of a subdural hematoma, contact our experienced New York Brain Injury Lawyer Team at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC to discuss your legal options. Contact us at 800.696.9529 or online to schedule your free consultation. Or stop by one of our many convenient office locations in New York City; Manhattan, Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Westchester County, Staten Island, or in Suffolk County or Nassau County in Long Island.