Each year, over 1.5 million people in America suffer from a brain stem injury. It’s estimated that more than 2 million American currently live with some form of disability as the direct result of a brain stem injury.
The most common cause of brain stem injuries are car accidents.
The Brain Stem Connects the Brain to the Spinal Cord
The brain stem connects the spinal cord to the brain. It sustains life. The structures of the brain stem control functions such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure; they coordinate movement on each side of the body; and, they help control functions such as sleep and attention.
Lack of Oxygen and Violent Trauma are the Major Causes of Brain Stem Injury
Not surprisingly, a victim of a brain stem injury can’t work or enjoy life like they did before the injury. More common brain stem injuries result from prolonged loss of oxygen to the brain or forceful trauma to the head as when the brain violently collides with the skull. Every type of brain stem injury can result in serious complications, including behavioural, cognitive, communication, or sensory processing difficulties. Brain stem damage may occur immediately upon impact or later due to bleeding and swelling of the brain. They may ultimately result in coma, stupors, vegetative states, or death.
Three Types of Brain Stem Injuries: Severe, Moderate and Mild
There are three types of brain stem injuries from sever to moderate to mild. Severe injuries to the brain stem cause major limitation in mental functioning, prolonged state of unconsciousness or coma, persistent vegetative state, or minimally responsive state. Moderate injuries involve confusion, cognitive, physical and behavioural impairments, and limited periods of unconsciousness. A mild injury such as a concussion usually involves a change in mental state following the injury, sudden memory loss, a brief loss of consciousness, or focal neurological deficits. These mild injuries may still result in devastating post concussive syndromes that can lead to early onset dementia and other degenerative neurologic processes.
Brain stem injuries are among the more common forms of brain injury, understanding the affects of this type of injury is not simple. Proving the nature of this type of injury requires an understanding of specific brain anatomy and how the injury to the brain stem has affected the life of the victim whether that victim is a child or an adult.
These cases require experienced lawyers that will devote the time and economic resources to prove your case. The DiCello Law Firm’s lawyers have the experience and ability to evaluate your case thoroughly and explore all potential sources of recovery.