Cases Involving Failure to Diagnose and Treat Epidural and Subdural Hematomas Require the Experience and Skill of Knowledgeable Medical Malpractice Attorneys
When someone suffers an epidural hematoma or a subdural hematoma, immediate medical intervention offers the best chance of a successful outcome. If a medical professional fails to promptly diagnose and treat these brain bleeds, the results can be deadly. In some situations, a surgeon may even cause – and fail to treat — such injuries during cranial surgery. The Eisen Law Firm attorneys focus exclusively on medical malpractice, and possess the means, training and background to substantiate these types of complex medical claims. Our relentless approach ensures that we address every facet of your case and fight zealously for every penny you deserve.
Epidural hematoma at a glance
An epidural hematoma is a collection of blood between the skull and the dura, which is the outermost membrane covering the brain, due to a blood vessel rupture. This medical condition is typically the result of a head injury, and is often accompanied by a skull fracture. Although only about 3 percent of people with head trauma develop epidural hematomas, the fatality rate of those who do is almost 20 percent. For victims of traumatic brain injury, the percentage of those who develop an epidural hematoma can be much greater.
Common causes of epidural hematomas:
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle crashes
- Slip/trip and falls
- A blow to the head
- Falling against a heavy object
- Workplace accidents
- Mistakes during brain/cranial surgery
- Improper anti-coagulant medication dosage
Epidural hematoma signs and symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness / lethargy
- Dilated pupils
- Problems with speech
- Confusion and cognitive issues
- Loss of memory
- Limb weakness on one side of the body
These symptoms can appear immediately or over several days following the traumatic event. Tragically, many victims may appear fine immediately after an accident, only to succumb to this injury hours or days later with little to no warning.
Dire consequences of an epidural hematoma
The brain bleed caused by an epidural hematoma can increase internal cranial pressure, which compresses and damages brain tissue. This is because the brain sits inside the hard shell of the skull, which (except in the case of an infant) is not capable of expanding. As the blood continues to pour in, the brain becomes compressed and brain tissue is damaged. Without prompt treatment, this catastrophic injury has grim consequences, including death.
When a patient is at risk for this condition, any displays of signs or symptoms of epidural hematoma demand a prompt and thorough workup for this condition. Diagnostic tools include an EEG, MRI and CT scans or X-Rays. For severe cases, surgical intervention is usually the most expedient option to quickly stop the bleeding, evacuate the accumulated blood and relieve the pressure on the brain.
Failure to promptly diagnose and treat epidural hematoma may result in any of the following:
- High intracranial blood pressure
- Permanent brain damage
While epidural bleeds occur between the skull and the dura, subdural bleeds occur between the dura and the brain itself. The blood vessels in the epidural space are mostly arteries, while the subdural space houses mostly veins. Because arteries bleed faster and with more pressure than veins, and because there is usually less space between the dura and the skull than between the dura and the brain, epidural hematomas typically cause damage more quickly than subdural hematomas. Indeed, especially in the elderly, subdural hematomas may not cause any problems until weeks after the bleed begins. This is because as we age, our brains shrink and there is more room between the dura and the brain to accommodate blood. Still, prompt diagnosis and treatment is important when dealing with subdural bleeds, just as it is when dealing with epidural bleeds, and the symptoms and possible outcomes are similar.
Consult our Cleveland medical malpractice attorneys for the dedication and focus that your epidural hematoma or subdural hematoma malpractice claim requires.
At The Eisen Law Firm, we take on a small number of cases at a time. This allows us to dedicate all of the extensive resources required for a successful claim to each one of our clients. If you are struggling with the aftermath of a brain bleed (epidural hematoma or subdural hematoma) in your family, call 216-687-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation to talk about your legal options.