It is no secret that the American population is aging. As the baby boomers reach retirement age and beyond, the average age of the population of the United States will dramatically increase, and our country’s most urgent medical needs will change.
A study by the Journal of Neurosurgery indicates that the country’s medical practice is unprepared for this shift in population when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of brain injuries. The Journal reports that by 2030, chronic subdural hemorrhage be the most common brain disease requiring surgery in the United States.
A subdural hemorrhage means that there is bleeding in the brain. Usually, this type of bleeding is caused by a severe head trauma, like that caused by a car accident or an assault. This type of injury is common also in soldiers who are near explosives. When the brain is injured, the tissues connecting the brain to the skull begin to swell and bleed. This causes pressure inside the brain, which will result in permanent brain injury or death if it is not quickly reversed with surgery.
A chronic subdural hemorrhage is a slow bleed which may not have effects that are immediately obvious. In the elderly, chronic subdural hemorrhages can be caused even slight head injuries, like those caused in a fall. The symptoms may be mild at first, and may be nothing more than some slight confusion or memory loss. In an elderly person, these symptoms may be ignored as nothing but old age.
If a chronic subdural hemorrhage goes undiagnosed, the bleeding will continue and get worse. Patients may be left with permanent brain damage, including the loss of speech, motor function, or cognitive ability. Those whose hemorrhages are left untreated may eventually die.
Fast diagnosis is critical to recovering from a chronic subdural hemorrhage. Older patients complaining of headaches, memory loss, or showing signs of mental decline should always have a complete neurological exam in order to rule out this life-threatening condition.
When a doctor fails to diagnose a condition like a chronic subdural hemorrhage, he or she can be liable for medical negligence if that failure leads to a patient’s injury. If you or your loved one was harmed as a result of a missed or delayed diagnosis, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries from the doctor whose negligence harmed you.
At the Trial Law Offices of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D., Esq., our knowledgeable staff of medical and legal professionals can evaluate your medical case and help you understand your legal rights. If you would like to speak with an experienced Beverley Hills medical malpractice attorney, contact Bradley I. Kramer today by calling (310) 289-2600 or use our online case evaluation form to have your claim reviewed for free.