Each year, numerous people here in Illinois and across the country suffer from brain injuries. The cause varies from person to person, but most people believe that a blow to the head, as in a car accident, a fall or something similar, causes a brain injury. However, a person can suffer brain damage without being struck in the head.
A lack of oxygen to the brain can also cause brain damage. When under anesthesia, if a patient is not properly monitored, the brain can be denied oxygen. Some babies are born with brain injuries because their oxygen is cut off during the birthing process, which could lead to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
Other medical-related brain injuries are caused by strokes. Other medical conditions can also damage the brain -- especially if they are not caught early. There is often a small window of time during which treatment can erase or, at least, arrest any potential damage. Therefore, if a patient is not correctly diagnosed in a timely manner, the brain can be damaged.
Even if it is not severe, brain damage can forever alter a person's life. A person's cognitive abilities can be affected, along with memory. Brain damage can also change someone's personality and even lead to dementia.
If you or a family member suffered a brain injury at the hands of a medical professional, you have rights. Discuss your case with an attorney. After a thorough investigation into what happened, a medical malpractice claim could be filed. If an Illinois court determines that your -- or your family member's -- brain damage was due to substandard medical care or negligence, an award of damages could be ordered, which could help defray the financial burdens incurred in the aftermath of the mistake.