The Brain Injury Association of America has named March National Brain Injury Awareness Month. Acquired brain injuries, or ABIs, can be any brain injury that is not hereditary, congenial, degenerative, or suffered at birth. ABIs are all serious, though a particularly serious subset of ABIs is traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, which occur as a result of an external factor, usually being blunt force trauma to the head. One factor that makes these injuries so devastating is the fact that the exact number of people who sustain them every year remains unknown.
Given the lack of information around ABI and TBI statistics, it should sadly come as no surprise that brain injuries are occasionally misdiagnosed. When this occurs, it can cause an already devastating injury to go from bad to worse.
Part of the reason for this is because the symptoms surrounding a brain injury can fairly easily be equated with other conditions. An individual who hits their head may end up suffering a brain injury, but attributing their symptoms to everyday types of discomfort.
Common symptoms of a brain injury include:
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sleeping too much
- Loss of balance
- Sensitivity to light or sound
While a medical professional should be able to analyze these symptoms to determine if something more serious is going on, the reality is that in some cases what appears to be a temporary condition ends up causing future complications. While most medical personnel will be able to pinpoint effects in the short-term, it is important to analyze how your body is feeling in the long-term as well. Your doctor may believe you are alright, but if you continue to have symptoms well after your injury occurred, you should always speak up, and describe the way you are feeling.
Brain injuries that are misdiagnosed can lead to a host of ongoing medical issues. In addition to the physical symptoms that occur following a brain injury, a serious brain injury can alter one’s mental state, too. Patients have been known to suffer depression and anxiety following a traumatic brain injury, in addition to mood swings and memory and concentration problems.
However, it’s not just the misdiagnosis of serious brain injuries which can cause ongoing medical problems. Oftentimes, mild brain injuries go misdiagnosed or untreated, as patients initially assume they are fine after a small bump on the head, and then end up getting worse in the ensuing weeks or months.
If left untreated, a worsening brain injury can manifest in the following ways:
- Loss of hearing
- Loss of vision
- Stuttering, or loss of speech
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of consciousness
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness or numbness in the fingers and toes
- Repeated vomiting
- Inability to waken from sleep
Again, the elusiveness of brain injuries unfortunately makes it incumbent on patients to be their own advocates when it comes to seeking treatment. A misdiagnosed brain injury could end up leading to coma, severe cognitive disorders, or even death.
If Your Brain Injury Was Misdiagnosed, There Is Hope
At Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., we support National Brain Injury Awareness Month and all of the Brain Injury Association of America’s efforts to make everyone more aware of the effects of brain injury. Yet for those whose brain injuries have been misdiagnosed, it may feel like hope is out of reach.
That’s why our Kansas City misdiagnosis attorneys promise to do everything in our power to secure the compensation you deserve. With years of experience in the medical malpractice and personal injury fields, we have the skills and resources needed to take on the medical establishment on your behalf. Don’t let a traumatic brain injury prevent you from living a full life. Call Bertram & Graf, L.L.C., and let us fight for you.
Our firm is available by phone at (888) 398-2277, or you can contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Remember, you don’t pay unless we win.