Causes of Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the general term that refers to brain damage a person suffers from a sudden physical force or impact. TBIs occur when the head hits an object or because of severe shaking. TBIs range from mild to severe and can occur in a variety of instances.
Nearly half of all TBIs occur in falls and automobile/traffic accidents. It is important to note that you do not have to hit your head in order to suffer a brain injury; violent shaking or jarring is enough to damage the brain, which can occur in a rear-end collision or other accident in which the head is not actually impacted against another object.
Birth Trauma/Medical Mistakes
Brain injury can occur when the baby is deprived of oxygen during delivery (hypoxic injury). Also, any time anesthesia is used in a procedure, regardless of the patient’s age, the risk is present that the patient will be deprived of adequate oxygen supply to the brain for a prolonged period. Inadequate monitoring of the patient’s vital signs, or not appreciating the level of distress of an infant delivery, are examples of medical malpractice that can cause life-long cognitive and motor impairments.
Toxic Exposure/Poisoning/Lead Paint Exposure
Exposure to lead and other toxins can cause injury to the brain, particularly prolonged exposure to children whose brains are still developing. Although paint sold today no longer contains lead, older homes may still have paint containing lead. Unfortunately, this older paint is more likely to be chipping than fresh paint, and ingesting lead-based paint chips by a small child can cause brain injury. People trying to rid an old home of lead paint should take special care; scraping away the paint will send paint dust into the air which is easily inhaled and enters the bloodstream the same as if it was ingested. Lead may also be present in drinking water, again more common in older homes that may contain lead in the pipes or other plumbing fixtures.
Concussions are a type of TBI caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Concussions are commonly the result of violent assaults, fights, and sports injuries. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a related type of head trauma, which can occur when a frustrated parent or daycare worker shakes an infant in an attempt to stop the baby from crying.
Concussions can occur in many different types of athletic activities, including football, baseball, hockey, boxing, rock climbing, cycling, and skateboarding. Wearing helmets and other appropriate protective equipment can reduce the risk of a concussion; it is important to ensure that the equipment is properly-fitted, worn properly, and well-maintained.
Concussions may be mild to severe. You may not necessarily lose consciousness from a concussion, and symptoms may not appear for several days or weeks. Signs to watch out for include:
- Headache or neck pain that persists
- Light-headedness, balance problems, or dizziness
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Double or fuzzy, blurred vision or tired eyes
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Ringing in the ears
- Difficulty remembering, concentrating, or making decisions
- Slowness in thinking, speaking, acting, or reading
- Getting lost or easily confused
- Feeling sluggish, tired, listless, or unmotivated all of the time
- Inexplicable mood changes
- Changes in sleep patterns
New York personal injury attorney Leandros A. Vrionedes has tried cases involving traumatic brain injuries resulting from a variety of reasons throughout New York. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, contact the law offices of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a consultation about your rights and the legal recourse available to you.