St. Louis Cerebral Hemorrhage Attorney
Cerebral Hemorrhage and Hematomas
Cerebral hemorrhage and hematomas are potential and serious consequences of a brain injury. Often caused by the head being struck by a blunt object, a cerebral hemorrhage takes place inside of the brain tissue. A hematoma results from a centralized collection of blood outside of blood vessels, typically in liquid form inside of tissue.
Common Mechanism of Injury
Hemorrhage and hematomas of the brain usually occur when the head strikes a hard object in one, or a combination, of the following three ways:
- The skull can fracture causing a tear in an underlying artery;
- The skull does not fracture and the force of the hit is transmitted to the brain causing multiple small connecting veins to tear; or
- The sudden movements of the head cause the brain to rub across the rough surface of the skull base – each of which result in the sudden onset of bleeding within the skull cavity, between the brain and skull or inside the brain tissue itself.
Hemorrhage and Hematoma Symptoms
Depending on the severity of injury, symptoms of hemorrhage and hematoma will vary. However, the most common symptoms include the following:
- Rapid loss of consciousness is followed by a period of regained consciousness and normal function; this is commonly subsequently followed by a decline in alertness, mental function, and ability to care for oneself.
- In some cases of venous injury, the bleeding is slower and there is a slower onset of confusion and memory impairment.
- With large hemorrhages and hematomas, breathing difficulties, slowing of the heart, left- or right-sided paralysis, coma, or death can occur.
- Depending on the location of the bleeding and the amount of brain tissue swelling, specific deficits may be noticed such as left- or right-sided weakness, difficulty speaking, or behavioral changes (such as aggressiveness, loss of inhibition, and acting out).
Treatment and Prognosis
Hemorrhages and hematomas located between the brain and skull that are large enough to cause symptoms are usually drained surgically. If a person is having difficulty breathing or their brain is not receiving enough oxygen, they may need to be placed on a ventilator and have a tube placed down their throat into their lungs to help with breathing and to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the brain. Medications commonly used during this procedure are morphine or Duragesic (Fentanyl) for pain and Diprivan (Propofol) to put a patient to sleep while they are on the ventilator.
To help prevent seizures from cerebral hemorrhages and hematomas, Dilantin (Phenytoin) is commonly given. To help prevent blood clots, sequential compression devices that squeeze a patient’s calves intermittently to help keep blood moving are used.
Rehabilitation, both in the hospital and after discharge from the hospital, are usually needed for any persistent functional impairments caused by a brain injury that results in hemorrhages and hematomas. In terms of prognosis, many people with small to moderate bleeds recover. Those with severe bleeds that have substantial functional deficits sometimes initially recover with residual impairment after many months of rehabilitation.
Potential problems noticed in everyday life include headaches and residual deficits such as a speech impediment, mild muscle weakness, subtle personality or behavioral changes. With severe hemorrhages and substantial deficits noted immediately after injury, accident victims may have intellectual and/or physical deficits that do not resolve and require further medical attention. Examples include a seizure disorder or gait impairment requiring a cane or walker.
Legal Strength Working for You
Our St. Louis brain injury attorneys are committed to providing each and every client with the personal attention they need and deserve. In our many years of experience protecting the rights of those injured by another’s negligence, we have the legal skills and knowledge to help our clients obtain compensation from negligent parties. For more information about how we can assist you with your specific case, call (314) 322-8515 for a free consultation.