Cleveland Medical Malpractice Lawyers Explain the Important Differences Between Baby/Child Brain Injuries and Adult Brain Injuries
Learn the facts about these devastating injuries
Brain injuries can have long-lasting consequences no matter who the victim is. Sadly for infants and children, pediatric traumatic brain injury is the number one trauma-related cause of lifelong disability in children. It’s also the number one cause of death in children over 12 months of age. Even more tragically, many circumstances that lead to traumatic brain injuries are preventable and the result of negligence or failure to provide adequate care. At The Eisen Law Firm, our Cleveland brain injury attorneys have the experience and knowledge to answer your questions and help determine if your loved one’s brain injury is the result of medical malpractice.
The differences between baby/child brain injury and adult brain injury
Infants and children who suffer traumatic brain injuries typically have a worse prognosis (expected outcome) than adults who suffer similar injuries. The brains of babies and children are still developing. Occasionally, a baby’s brain or a child’s brain can develop “around” an injury, and the outcome can be good. More often, however, a disturbance in the growth or development of an infant’s or child’s brain leads to irreparable damage. It can be difficult for a parent to understand or recognize the full scope of the damage that has been done to a child’s brain until years later, when it becomes apparent that essential cognitive functions are severely impaired. This is especially true for infants, as the “normal” range of behaviors for infants is relatively narrow — they eat, they sleep, they cry, and they poop — and even seriously injured infants can reach many early developmental “milestones.”
By contrast, when an adult suffers a traumatic or other brain injury, determining the extent of the damage typically is much easier. An adult’s personality is already established, and there is a known baseline of the individual’s physical and mental capabilities. This provides medical professionals with far more data and information to use in formulating opinions about current and future deficits.
Whether dealing with a child’s brain injury or an adult’s, it is critical to understand the scope of the injury and the associated deficits. Often – and especially with infants and children – this means retaining knowledgeable experts in neuropsychological and behavioral testing. These experts can pick up on even subtle cognitive and behavioral deficits and can therefore assist in developing a plan to help the injured individual maximize his or her potential.
How baby/child brain injury and adult brain injury can change the lives of its victims
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can have an impact on many aspects of the victims’ lives. Obviously, each person and family affected by a brain injury will face some unique challenges, but there are some common problems shared by many suffering from the type of serious pediatric or adult brain injury that results in long-term effects.
Common Baby/Child Brain Injury Deficits
- Physical Impact – Motor skills may be reduced or absent; children may miss important developmental milestones (crawling, walking, reaching, grasping, speaking, etc.)
- Emotional Impact – Children may be depressed, frustrated, angry or even in denial about the changes they are facing.
- Social Functioning – The way a child relates to others may change, and the child may find it more difficult to interact in socially appropriate ways.
- Learning/Memory – Short term memory may be impaired significantly.
- Executive Functioning – Children can find it very difficult to focus, plan ahead, multitask, and perform other mental tasks that help people get things done.
- Educational Achievement – All of these impairments can present clear and significant challenges to a child’s academic pursuits.
Common Adult Brain Injury Deficits
- Impaired cognitive skills – Adults can have problems performing skills and tasks previously mastered, such as reading and writing. They may also speak and think more slowly and take longer to solve problems.
- Mood/Behavior – These changes can be especially difficult to adjust to when it feels that your loved one is a different person. Mood swings and behavioral issues can cause anger, frustration and depression in both the adult suffering from a brain injury and those who love and support her.
- Senses/Perception – Vision is commonly impaired in a variety of ways, from blurred sight and reduced depth perception to an actual disconnection between perception and comprehension. Hearing, touch, taste and/or smell can suffer as well, becoming more or less sensitive and acute.
If your family has suffered the tragedy of a preventable brain injury to a child, infant or adult, our Cleveland brain injury lawyers are here to help you
At The Eisen Law Firm, our compassionate attorneys understand how overwhelming these complex, serious injuries can be. We advocate passionately for our clients to ensure you receive the money you need to meet these challenges with education, training and support. Contact our firm online or call 216-687-0900 to speak with a supportive member of our team. Our firm serves clients in Toledo, Cleveland, Lorain, Akron, Columbus and throughout Ohio.
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