Non Traumatic Causes of Brain Injury
Scarlett Law Group represents a wide variety of clients sustaining
brain injury as a result of a multitude of causes. While traumatic
brain injury (or brain injury resulting from trauma) remains a focal
area of interest for the firm, the Scarlett Law Group continues to
represent a large client base sustaining brain injury from
For example, in the case of Wright v. St Rose Hospital, et. al. ,
Randall H. Scarlett represented then seven year old Stephanie Wright
who was rendered catastrophically brain injured and quadriplegic at 8
months of age you as a result of an emergency room physician’s failure
to diagnose her H-Flu meningitis. The infection caused hydrocephalus
as well as increased intracranial pressure, midline shift, and severe
brain injury. Despite the child’s weight loss, fever, lethargy, and
irritability, the physician failed to perform a lumbar puncture, and
failed to perform any blood work or other diagnostic testing, simply
discharging her with a diagnosis of middle either infection (otitis
media). After deliberation, the Hayward, California jury rendered its
verdict on behalf of Stephanie Wright which totaled $26,053,000. The
verdict is one of the largest medical malpractice awards in the State
(both bacterial and viral) is an inflammation of the meninges which
cover the brain. Usually, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) is contaminated
or "seeded" through an infectious process. Given that CSF bathes the
brain and the meninges, increased intracranial pressure results from
the inflammation. Inflammation can also occur as a result of toxic
exposure, such as where myelogram dye is injected into the CSF.
generally refers to an accumulation of liquid on the brain. It can
occur in cases of meningitis where the patient's system for circulating
CSF is impaired. The blockage can also occur from a number of other
events including bleeding, swelling, tumor or congenital deformation.
Increased intracranial pressure results from the blocked fluid.
inflammation of brain substances called encephalitis. Generally, the
cause of the inflammation is an infectious process, but it can also be
caused by allergy.
In the case of Harrison v. North Las Vegas, et., al. ,
then 32-year-old Harvey Harrison died when medical personnel at the
North Las Vegas jail failed to diagnose or treat his progressive
subdural and epidural hematomas. The case demonstrates how the failure
to note the signs and symptoms of intracranial bleeding can have
absolutely catastrophic effect.
hematoma refers to blood clots or bleeding that develops between the
brain and the dura matter that covers the brain. Subdural hematomas can
be treated in a number of different ways depending on the severity of
the bleed. For example, where the bleed is small in size, or has
stopped, it is sometimes possible to treat therapeutically with drugs
as opposed to more invasive methods of treatment, which could include
craniotomy with evacuation. The bleeds themselves usually result from a
tear of the bridging veins as opposed to the tearing of arteries. The
bleeds can be a cute, sub-acute, or chronic in nature.
hematomas are formed when the brains outer covering or dura matter is
stripped away from the skull by blood from lacerated blood vessels.
These "bleeds" generally occur within within minutes after the injury
although some may develop in the first day and even enlarge over time.
We're these bleeds are posterior end near the brain stem they are
particularly dangerous as the patient may be conscious until the end
stage of development. Epidural hematomas are thought to be more
dangerous than subdural hematomas, although this is of course a
The Scarlett Law
Group has also handled cases involving the failure to diagnose
congenital abnormalities such as aneurysms which has tragically ended
in catastrophic neurological damage. In many of these cases, the
outcome is death.
due to congenital anomaly (in most instances) or trauma, a blood vessel
wall is caused to balloon outward and aneurysm is the result. Most
aneurysms are extremely dangerous as the individual is asymptomatic
until the aneurysm ruptures. Size of the aneurysm can vary from the
very small to the large. Large aneurysms may exert pressure on
surrounding areas of the brain.
brain dysfunction results from a non-infectious pathology,
encephalopathy is said to occur. For example, where dementia follows an
acute trauma to the brain, a patient can be diagnosed with static
encephalopathy. Encephalopathy can likewise result from toxic exposure.
Scarlett Law Group has likewise handled cases where there has been an
interruption of blood flow to the brain or compromised oxygenation of
blood flowing to the brain. Obstetric negligence occurs where there is
mismanaged labor and delivery resulting in and anoxic or hypoxic brain
damage because a cesarean section was not performed within acceptable
time frames. Likewise, children born with cerebral palsy result where
physicians have failed to appreciate changes in fetal heart tones.
Errors in anesthesia or overdoses of anesthesia have likewise led to
severe cognitive deficits in individuals. Surgical errors have also
caused infarction or stroke.
In Greener v. Hospital, et.,al. ,
plaintiffs brought suit on behalf of their eight year old daughter as a
result of birth injury. Mrs. Greener was beta strep positive, though
asymptomatic. During labor and delivery, the physicians failed to give
prophylactic antibiotics. The child was exposed to the beta strap
during the delivery in the birth canal. The child developed meningitis,
which the physicians failed to diagnose, resulting in learning
disabilities and other brain damage.
refers to the process where due to blood vessel occlusion or blockage,
oxygenation to the brain is compromised. The area of the brain which
the blood supply feeds dies or otherwise becomes compromised. Most
strokes do not involve bleeding although some are hemorrhagic. Strokes
or also known as "cerebral infarctions".
subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs where bleeding enters into the area
between the arachnoid membrane and the dura matter. The arachnoid
membrane is a fine web-like layer surrounding the brain. These
hemorrhages can result from trauma or from ruptured blood vessels.
Seizures in victims are common as subarachnoid hemorrhages release
blood products into the CSF. There are three membranes between the
cranium and the brain, the dura matter, the arachnoid, and the pia
matter. The outermost membrane is the dura which is a tough fibrous
membrane closely attached to the skull. The arachnoid is a thick
membrane with web projections called arachnoid villi that protrude
through the meningeal layer of the dura into the superior sagittal
sinus. The pia matter is a very thin layer of membrane that is directly
attached to the brain by small threads. It provides coverage for many
small blood vessels surrounding the brain.
refers to decreased blood supply. Cerebral ischmia is extremely
dangerous and in many cases involving severe brain damage, is a
secondary damage resulting in death. Secondary ischemic insults to the
brain worsen the outcome. In many instances there is a post dramatic
decline in cerebral blood flow due to stretching and deformity of brain
vessels, post traumatic changes in microvascular structure, cerebral
vasospasm, and arterial hypotension. Likewise, on a microscopic level,
metabolic changes following brain injury can lead to ischemia.
Where non traumatic brain injury occurs, the Scarlett Law Group stands ready to assist you in your time of need.
If you or someone you know has been injured
or suffered Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI,
you need the assistance of The Scarlett Law Group.
today to speak with a California Personal Injury Attorney.