Brain Haemorrhage Compensation Claim Solicitors – Australian Law

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A brain haemorrhage is a type of bleeding that occurs inside the skull. It can be caused by traumatic injury or by a spontaneous bleed coming from an aneurysm or other type of broken blood vessel. There are other types of intracranial bleeds that are considered extra-axial. That is, they occur within the cranium or bony part of the brain but do not occur within the brain tissue itself. Examples of extra-axial haemorrhages include the subdural, epidural and subarachnoid haemorrhages.

The two main types of intra-axial haemorrhages include the intraparenchymal haemorrhage and the intraventricular haemorrhages. The intraventricular haemorrhages occur in the fluid-filled spaces of the brain tissue, while the intraparenchymal haemorrhages occur within the actual brain tissue. Both of these types of bleeds are considered to be strokes, albeit haemorrhagic strokes and both are considered a serious brain injury. The mortality rate for these kinds of haemorrhagic strokes is around forty percent.

Brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors deal with applications for awards of damages for personal injury on the basis of medical negligence following either miss-diagnosis or failed surgical intervention both of which can cause a worsening of the initial problem.

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Signs and Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of an intracranial haemorrhage vary somewhat with the area of the brain being affected by the haemorrhage. Symptoms are also related to the size of the area of bleeding. Symptoms can come on quite suddenly or can be gradual over time. Common symptoms include having the sudden onset of a severe headache associated with seizures. There can be visual changes, weakness or numbness in an arm or a leg, nausea, vomiting, problems with speech or in understanding speech, difficulty swallowing, hand tremors or difficulty with fine motor skills, coordination difficulty, balance problems, a funny taste in one’s mouth, and loss of consciousness or lethargy. There can be difficulty reading or writing. The severe headache is one of the most common symptoms so if you experience this symptom, especially with the other symptoms, you should call the emergency services.

Brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors often deal with cases where a patient in the early stages of a brain haemorrhage presents at hospital suffering from severe headache to be told to go home and take analgaesics. Within a few hours the patient is unconscious, often with little chance of full recovery which may have taken place with early surgical intervention. This scenario may be determined to be an issue of medical negligence leading to an award of damages for pain and suffering and financial losses.

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Causes and Risk Factors

One of the biggest risk factors for an intracranial haemorrhage is high blood pressure, which increases the risk of a spontaneous bleed by 2-6 times. Trauma causing penetrating skull fractures or depressed skull fractures can predispose a person to getting an intracranial bleed. Traumatic injury that causes an acceleration and deceleration of the brain within the skull can cause an intracranial bleed. Having an aneurysm in the brain can cause an intracranial bleed. Having a tumor that bleeds is another cause of an intracranial bleed. Other risk factors include having diabetes, being in menopause, cigarette use and drinking more than two alcoholic drinks each day.

Intracranial haemorrhages account for 13 percent of strokes. Bleeding comes from one or more blood vessels and intersperses between brain cells. This causes brain swelling, which gives the headache and other symptoms. The blood pools into a hematoma or collection of blood and kills off nearby brain cells.

Rarer causes of intracranial haemorrhages include amyloid angiopathy, which is a blood vessel abnormality, bleeding disorders like hemophilia and sickle cell disease, liver disease and brain tumor.

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Diagnosis

Anytime there is the clinical suggestion of an intracerebral bleed, doctors do a CT scan of the head. Blood shines much brighter than brain tissue on the CT/X-ray scan and the bleed is easily identifiable. Any other problems, such as a brain tumor or depressed skull fracture can also be seen by CT scan.

Failure to diagnose and treat may be an issue of medical negligence whereby brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors can issue proceedings to claim damages for personal injury and loss.

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Treatment

Doctors must begin with a quick CT scan so they know whether or not surgery or medications will work to treat the haemorrhage. Medications include giving factor VIIa to slow down the bleeding and increase clotting. Giving a person medication to reduce blood pressure does a good job of keeping the bleeding to a minimum. Mannitol reduces the pressure within the brain. Pain medications are given to reduce the degree of headache.

If the person has a coagulopathy or bleeding disorder, doctors can give vitamin K, protamine, and fresh frozen plasma or platelet transfusions. Seizures are controlled with anticonvulsant medication. Antacids are given to prevent a bleeding stomach ulcer, a condition that is usually connected to intracerebral hemorrhages. Steroids, along with the blood pressure medications, help reduce the swelling.

Some patients need major support, such as intubation to help them breathe and IV fluids. If surgery is required, it means there is a structural lesion causing the bleed, such as an aneurysm or the hematoma has exceeded three centimeters in diameter. In such cases, doctors may put a catheter into the brain to close off or dilate blood vessels, which is a minimally invasive way of getting at the source of the bleeding. In addition, endoscopic or stereotactic surgery can aspirate the haematoma if the bleed happens to be in the basal ganglia. This approach may or may not work.

Inadequate surgical treatment may be an issue of medical negligence whereby brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors can issue proceedings to claim damages for personal injury and loss.

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Prognosis

Traumatic brain haemorrhages are very serious, especially if the brain stem is involved. If the bleed involves the medulla oblongata, almost everyone dies because it affects the part of the brain that controls the vagus nerve, important in respiration and blood vessel circulation. The death rate is about 40 percent or between 34 and 50 percent after thirty days post hemorrhage. Half of all deaths from intracranial haemorrhages die within the first two days.

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Complications

If a person survives a brain haemorrhage, there can be permanent brain damage. This can lead to permanent speech abnormalities, gait problems or memory issues. There can be the development of a seizure disorder because of damage to crucial parts of the brain. All of the complications of a brain haemorrhage are the same as the acute symptoms except that they don’t go away.

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Prevention

Brain haemorrhages can be prevented by not smoking, not using drugs that increase blood pressure (such as cocaine), treating high blood pressure, avoiding trauma by wearing a seat belt and protecting yourself from head injuries while cycling, preventing aneurysms before they bleed, and watching Coumadin levels if you happen to require Coumadin for a specific disease.

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Statistics

In considering strokes of all causes, an intracranial bleed is responsible for 20 percent of all strokes. This compares to 40 percent which are caused by cerebral thrombosis and 30 percent, which are caused by cerebral embolism. In Africans, the risk of cerebral hemorrhage is more than double that of Caucasians.

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Medical Negligence Lawyers

Our brain haemorrhage compensation claim solicitors deal with legal action for medical negligence using the no win no fee scheme. If you would like free legal advice with no further obligation just call the helpline, email our offices or use the contact form.

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