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Pittsburgh Personal Injury Law Blog

Symptoms of cerebral edema

Pennsylvanian residents who were involved in an accident resulting in trauma to the head could experience cerebral edema. Also known as brain swelling, cerebral edema can cause the sufferer many painful and alarming side-effects. If left untreated, it can even result in permanent injury or death.

As WebMD states, many of the symptoms of cerebral edema are the same as concussive symptoms, because a concussion will usually also result in brain swelling. The signs include:

  • Memory loss
  • Behavioral changes
  • Difficulty moving or speaking
  • Dizziness, nausea or vomiting
  • Headache or neck pains
  • Confusion or stupor

Are all brain injuries the same?

The brain is clearly a part of the body that requires special protection and care and any injury to it can be devastating and life altering. If you are one of the people in Pennsylvania who has seen a loved one through a brain injury, you have some idea of just how extensive the ramifications of this can be in a person's daily life. However, it is important to understand that all brain injuries are not the same.

As explained by the Brain Injury Association of America, there are different classifications of brain injuries. Many people hear about traumatic brain injuries which may result from extreme force and leave the brain function altered in some form. This alteration may be permanent or temporary. Acquired brain injuries are those that are not necessarily the result of force but that are also not genetic as they too result from an injury.

Lifestyle changes to accommodate brain injuries

Pennsylvania residents who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury may find themselves struggling with the recovery process for a long time to come. Depending on the type of injury, the intensity, and the location, it's possible that lifestyle changes will need to be made in order to make daily living easier.

Changed Lives, New Journeys shows the numerous different cognitive and physical impacts that traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, can have on an individual. They show that these impacts differ depending on the injury's severity, but say that people report similar life changes in the end. These changes can occur in many areas, including but not limited to:

  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Employment or education
  • Housing situations or home life
  • Development and self-esteem
  • Financial situations

Top 3 winter workplace hazards

As fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner, it is time to prepare for inclement weather. Here on the East Coast, fall and winter weather can cause a lot of problems during your everyday life, including at work. Poor weather conditions lead to various hazards, from slippery surfaces to strenuous activities. 

These hazards can increase your risk of getting hurt at work, so it is crucial to be aware of them and promote safety on the job. Here are the most common ways that bad weather can cause injuries at work.

An unusual approach: botox and solutions to facial paralysis

Welcoming a child into the world is a tremendous event on its own; when complications arise during delivery, that event can lead to a lifetime of health issues. Facial paralysis is a rare muscle weakness that is known to primarily affect adults, but this type of paralysis can also occur among infants during delivery. There are several causes to this condition, but cranial trauma is a common culprit. In Pennsylvania, parents of children affected by injury-inflicted paralysis may choose to take legal action to compensate for their physical, mental and financial toils experienced as a result of a doctor's malpractice.

In addition to legal action, some parents are turning to an unusual approach to solving their children's health complications. The Facial Paralysis Institute is dedicated to treating those affected by facial paralysis through plastic surgery, first listing basic information on the condition. Congenital facial paralysis, much like Bell's Palsy in adults, can last for years. And while many might dismiss surgical treatments and Botox, the Institute has seen a success in these treatments. Because the condition has no specific duration, infants with paralysis may have particuar difficulty carrying out basic functions such as nursing or closing the eyes. Furthermore, if left untreated, facial paralysis in infants could lead to difficulties in speech development and emotional expression.

Understanding Erb's palsy

When expectant parents in Pennsylvania are preparing for the birth of a new child, understanding some of the potential problems that may occur duing labor and deliver is important even though this is not the most positive thing to focus on. The reality is that the more educated moms and dads are about these things, the more they can help advocate for the right care or action if that should become necessary.

According to the Mayo Clinic, if a baby is in the breech position or becomes lodged in the birth canal for too long, they run the risk of experiencing damage to some nerves that control shoulder, arm and hand movements. Sometimes the upper and lower sets of nerves may be affected and other times only the upper nerves are impacted.

Body cooling therapy: a new solution to birth injuries

There are a multitude of steps that can go wrong in the birthing process: failure to diagnose birth defects, performing inaccurate cesarean sections and the misuse of medical tools are only a few of the many types of childbirth mistakes. The mistake may seem apparent, but where does one draw the line in the case of a birth injury? Pennsylvania patients have the lawful right to address medical malpractice of any kind, including birth injuries. In the case of oxygen deprivation, a new medical approach could bring a decline in the country's birth-related brain injuries overall.  

Markets Insider released an article covering a relatively new approach to handling birth injuries, but added that many surgeons in the country are still hesitant toward the procedure. According to the article, the newborn of a Florida family suffered significant brain damage when surgeons failed to react to her condition in a timely and effective manner. Attorneys in Philadelphia came to the family's assistance by securing a $5.3 million settlement in favor of their client. The pressing medical situation could have been considerably altered, had surgeons immediately transferred the baby to a unit where she could have received body cooling therapy, a procedure through which brain injuries can be reduced and even prevented. While still a new procedure, body cooling therapy must take place within a few hours of birth. In this instance, doctors waited overnight before taking the medical action that could have saved the baby from brain injuries.

Common injuries from motorcycle accidents

Motorcycles are just as much about expressing yourself as they are about getting you from one place to another. Still, you cannot ignore the fact that they come with more risk than do enclosed motor vehicles. According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2015 bikers were six times more likely to die in a crash than were occupants of passenger cars, with the odds increasing nearly fivefold after factoring in driving distance. Rates of injury were also higher.

The nature of motorcycles makes it clear why they are more dangerous to ride. Collisions often lead to these serious injuries.

Living with a TBI

When it comes to of brain injuries in Pennsylvania, contact sports and car accidents may be the first topics to come to mind. Yet there are a plethora of other causes and concerns regarding brain injuries, as well as potentially lasting effects. Emotional issues are an aspect of brain injuries that is minimally discussed but makes a monumental impact on a person's overall wellbeing.

Although many may assume emotional effects are an obvious repercussion of brain injuries, obstacles that ensue can be incredibly complex. Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, an organization that provides informational resources on traumatic brain injuries, notes that emotional disorders post-injury can vary depending on the individual. Some, according to MSKTC, experience emotional "roller coasters," while others experience intense emotions that last only briefly. Such emotional unpredictability is often the result of damage to the area of the brain that controls emotions and behavior. Although some injuries are irreversible, MSKTC points out that emotional outbursts usually improve within a few months of the injury, where individuals can eventually find emotional balance.

The potential risks of forceps-assisted birth

The birthing process can be challenging enough on its own, yet when birth injuries enter the picture, situations can quickly go from inconvenient to life-threatening. Pennsylvania's birth injury litigations usually come with a number of obstacles, as each injury is unique. It is important for parents and expecting parents to know information on the common types of birth injuries, as well as the various medical malpractice resources to consider.

Most medical malpractice incidents are unique from patient to patient, but an article in Public Opinion highlights that birth injuries often take a common route: that of the incorrect use of surgical tools. In what experts consider to be the largest ever court-ordered award due to medical malpractice in the Pennsylvania's Middle District, a Chambersburg couple recently received $42 miilion for drastic damage a doctor inflicted on their son. The doctor allegedly used forceps, a tool used in assisted vaginal delivery, to help deliver the child. However, professionals consider the dangers of extended use of forceps, and the doctor used this manuever extensively during delivery. The infant received an alarming amount of brain damage shortly after birth, and doctors say the child will never be able to carry out daily life functions on his own.

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