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What would happen if the brain stem was damaged?

One of the most severe physical injuries associated with an auto accident includes head trauma such as brain stem injury. The brain stem can sustain severe damage, posing a serious risk to the victim’s life. It can adversely affect the respiratory system, heart health, pain sensitivity, alertness, awareness, motor function, and consciousness. In more critical cases, a brain stem injury can result in vertigo, paralysis, coma, or even death. Treatment is expensive, and the earnings of many victims reduce because of their incapability to work. If you experienced brain stem injury in an accident caused by someone else’s fault, seek reliable legal advice on your right to claim compensation. At Phillips Law Offices, our brain stem injury attorneys are available. We can pursue legal action based on negligence and go for a fair settlement.

Accident-induced brain stem injury

Our brain stem comprises the midbrain, pons, and medulla oblongata. The midbrain is the topmost part of the brain stem, and its functions extend to the central nervous system. It helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, eye movement, hearing potential, and visual processing. The pons of the brain stem is less than one inch in length. It has neural pathways that connect the medulla with the cerebellum. Lastly, the medulla oblongata is the bottom-most brain part where your brain and spinal cord connect. It controls heart rhythms, blood pressure, breathing, coughing, sneezing, and swallowing.

The effects of brain stem damage from an accident can be devastating. The damage to the midbrain, pons, or medulla oblongata can cause brain death. It implies that the unfortunate victim of the brain injury cannot survive. Even if there are no fatal consequences, there may be significant brain stem injury symptoms. For instance, the injured person may suffer locked-in syndrome after damage to their brain stem. In this neurological condition, the victim is fully conscious but cannot move or communicate verbally. Despite the severity of the ailment, the patient can survive for decades in the vegetative state caused by the syndrome.

An injury to the brain stem can cause widespread dysfunction in the body. It could affect breathing, blood circulation, heat regulation, and consciousness. Not only this, it can disrupt the communication portal between the human brain and other body areas. As a result, your brain will not receive hunger or thirst signals from the body. If there is a damaged pons, you may become incapable of swallowing or lose bladder control. The point is that any damage to the brain stem can lead to permanent disabilities and bodily impairments. Consult an experienced personal injury lawyer Chicago about your legal options if the cause of your injury was someone else’s negligence.

Symptoms of the accident brain injuries

brain stem damaged
A doctor explains the consequences of brain stem damage, pointing to a diagram highlighting the affected area

One can sustain brain stem injury in an auto accident. It happens because of a violent blow or jolt to the head in the collision. Some individuals may recover from traumatic brain injuries after medical treatment, but the condition is critical in many cases. Victims could face severe physical, cognitive, and emotional issues that may last a lifetime or even lead to death. The type, degree, and duration of symptoms depend on the extent to which the accident caused the trauma. Generally, a person can experience the following issues due to the damaged brain stem:

  •  Dizziness
  •  Breathlessness
  •  Paralysis
  •  Coma
  •  Insomnia
  •  Nauseousness or vomiting
  •  Motor function impairment
  •  Balance problems
  •  Impaired vision
  •  Variation in heart rate
  •  Sensitivity to light
  •  Persistent headache
  •  Repetitive eye-jerk movements
  •  Loss of smell

If you sustained a head injury in an accident, seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Your doctor will prescribe the necessary tests to identify the extent of brain stem injury. The professional will ensure you get the best treatment and have the best chance of recovery. Remember to keep all prescription and hospital bills in a safe place. These receipts and invoices are evidence that you suffered huge losses due to the accident caused by the defendant. You might be eligible for compensation from those at fault. You can take action and fight for a monetary award with your personal injury lawyer.

The recovery period of the injury

The brain stem facilitates the exchange of messages between the brain and the body. It also maintains some survival functions, such as respiration and heart regulation.

Damage to the brain stem is a critical traumatic brain injury that doctors often consider a death indicator. If the accident caused bleeding in the brain, the patient might have to undergo an immediate operation. In other cases, doctors may postpone the surgery until the right moment. They will observe lesions, hematomas, hemorrhage, contusion, and inflammation constraints.

Injuries to the brain stem have debilitating consequences. The initial trauma, such as a stroke or accident, is the primary injury. But the medical treatment focuses primarily on preventing a secondary injury because reversing brain damage is challenging. A domino effect could make the injury worse as time passes. It is why doctors closely monitor the swelling and oxygen flows of patients for days or weeks. In other cases, doctors may use Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) to determine the extent of impaired consciousness. This tool enables them to assess eye-opening, motor, and verbal responses. Accordingly, they can predict how the patient will recover from a head injury.

For patients, either no treatment is possible or urgent surgery is necessary to save the victim’s life. Patients with severe brain stem injuries almost always require hospice care because they can not care for themselves. About 25% of patients recover from brain stem injury entirely after treatment. However, around 30% do not survive because of the intense trauma. The rest live with some form of disability. Research is looking into new therapies, such as neuroplasticity, to help traumatic brain injury victims. The recovery process after the trauma is typically lengthy, but the healing prospects may improve with this emerging therapy.

Attorney for brain stem injury case

Since the brain stem functions from the base of our brains, injury to this region is almost irreparable. The most common causes of brain injury in humans are falls, motor vehicle accidents, firearm-related injuries, and violent attacks. While many people who suffer a mild concussion recover over time, some experience lifelong health issues. If you met with an accident that evoked brain stem injuries, consult with our qualified lawyers for your case evaluation. Our dedicated legal team at Phillips Law Offices has many years of experience in such lawsuits. We can file a claim against responsible parties whether involved in a motorcycle, truck, car, pedestrian, taxi, bus, and construction accident.

When considering the cause-and-effect of brain-stem injuries, you will realize that trauma can severely disrupt body functions. The best way to mitigate long-term impacts is to seek medical aid after the accident without delay. You may require extensive therapy or a rehabilitation program to recover from the condition. Unfortunately, many victims do not regain their full physical and occupational abilities despite the best treatment. On the contrary, some patients may require in-home care from a proficient nurse. Nonetheless, recovering from a brain-stem injury can take months or even years. Whether you have severe or minor brain-stem damage, you will require the assistance of a brain injury attorney.

You don’t have to remain silent and bear the consequences of someone else’s carelessness. Take action and seek advice from a personal injury lawyer who can sympathize with your condition. The legal advisor will help assess your expenses, including punitive damages and future costs.

Also Read:

Chicago Red Light Accident Settlement

Springfield Motorcycle Accident Attorney

What should I do if I’m a victim of a hit-and-run car accident in Chicago?

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