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Head Injuries and Medical Negligence

Head Injuries and Medical Negligence

Every year in England and Wales, around 700,000 people attend A&E suffering a head injury. While the majority of these are thankfully minor injuries, about 10% are deemed moderate or severe. In these cases it is vital medical staff act quickly, as without the correct treatment a head injury can lead to serious complications.

Assessing Head Injuries

A head injury can be defined as any trauma to the head that goes beyond shallow injuries to the surface of the skin. This may be caused in a number of ways, the most common being road traffic accidents and sports-related trauma.

If you suffer a head injury, you need to seek immediate medical assistance. This can either be at your GP surgery, or at an Accident & Emergency department. A doctor should note how and when your injury happened, before assessing whether you are experiencing any notable symptoms of a head injury. These can include:-

  • Loss of consciousness;
  • Headache;
  • Nausea;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Seizures;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Balance problems.

In particular, a doctor should look at how easily you can open your eyes, as well as your verbal and physical reflexes. They will give you a score for each of these tests, which when added up will give help determine the degree of injury. This is method of assessment is called the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), and ranges from 3 to 15 (3 being the most serious and 15 the least). A score of 8 or less is considered to be a severe head injury, and should result in immediate referral to hospital for observation.

Additionally, you may be referred to hospital if you have suffered a head injury and you are: over 65, taking anti-coagulants, have previously had brain surgery, were involved in a high-energy accident, you are drunk or on illegal drugs.

Failure To Carry Out Diagnostic Tests

If there is any suspicion a patient is at risk of developing further complications, additional tests should be done without delay. These may include a CT scan, an MRI scan, and X-rays, all of which will help determine how serious an injury is and what form of treatment should be given.

Should these tests fail to be carried out on a patient with a severe head injury, medical staff will be unaware of any serious underlying conditions, such as:-

  • Fracture;
  • Haematoma;
  • Haemorrhage;
  • Brain damage;
  • Intracranial bleeding.

If these problems are not diagnosed in a timely fashion, a patient's condition will rapidly deteriorate, and may result in long-term damage.

What Action Can You Take?

If you have had a head injury that failed to be properly diagnosed or treated, you need to speak to a medical negligence solicitor. If it is found the level of care you received fell below an acceptable standard, then you could make a medical negligence claim. Should be you successful, you can claim compensation for the pain and suffering this negligence has caused, covering any financial damages, personal injury and emotional trauma.

Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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Can We Help You With A Medical Negligence Enquiry?

Early legal assistance can be vital so please contact us if you would like to discuss your situation. Please call us free on 0800 234 3300 (or from a mobile 01275 334030) or complete our Online Enquiry Form.

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