Hold Those Responsible Accountable For Your Brain Bleeds

Violent trauma to the head or body can cause bleeds and hematomas within the intracranial space, in and around the brain (brain bleeds). Such bleeds can range from the catastrophic, requiring immediate, lifesaving surgery, to the less severe.

The brain injury attorneys at Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP have extensive knowledge of the anatomy of the brain, types of brain injuries and the ongoing deficits resulting from brain injuries. We work closely with our clients to ensure that they receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate medical treatment for their injuries. Our comprehensive experience handling such cases and access to medical and investigative experts have enabled us to build a track record of successful results for our clients. To learn more, contact a personal injury lawyer at our law firm to schedule a free initial consultation.

Head trauma can cause hemorrhages and hematomas in the intracranial space. These brain bleeds are classified as follows:

Epidural Hematoma

Epidural hematomas are bleeds or collections of blood that occur on top of the brain, between the skull and the dura mater. Dura mater is one of the membranes of connective tissue that covers the brain. Epidural hematomas are typically caused by head trauma and are often associated with a skull fracture. Epidural hematomas can be life-threatening, as the pocket of blood grows to compress the brain inside the rigid skull. In these cases, emergency surgical intervention is required to remove the blood and alleviate the pressure against the brain before neural damage occurs.

In March 2009, actress Natasha Richardson fell during a ski lesson in Canada and suffered what initially appeared to be a mild head injury. She tragically died hours later because the pressure created by an epidural hematoma continued to build up and compress her brain over time.

Subdural Hematoma

A subdural hematoma is a bleed that occurs just below the dura mater, in the subdural space between the dura mater and the arachnoid. Subdural hematomas are caused by the tearing of the small veins connecting the dura mater and the arachnoid. Subdural hematomas are more common than epidural hematomas, but can be equally life-threatening and can require surgical evacuation. Depending on the severity of the condition, subdural hematomas carry a mortality rate of 50 to 90 percent.

When a subdural hematoma is discovered within three days of an incident, it is considered an acute subdural hematoma. Subdural hematomas discovered after three days and up to 14 days following an incident are considered subacute subdural hematomas. Chronic subdural hematomas are bleeds that are discovered more than two weeks following an injury.

In April 2009, San Francisco Giants pitcher Joe Martinez was hit in the head by a line drive in a game. He suffered a skull fracture and a subdural hematoma.

Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

Subarachnoid hemorrhage occurs between arachnoid mater and the pia mater. Unlike epidural and subdural hematomas, subarachnoid hemorrhages are usually caused by ruptures of brain aneurysms (i.e., weak spots in a brain blood vessel). However, subarachnoid bleeds can also occur due to a head injury. Symptoms include a severe headache, rigidity of neck muscles, nausea, vomiting and an altered level of consciousness.

Intracerebral Hemorrhage

An intracerebral hemorrhage is a bleed that occurs within the brain tissue. These bleeds are typically caused by trauma, hypertension, rupture of an aneurysm, artery disease, coagulation disorders or a brain tumor. Like other intracranial bleeds, severe cases of intracerebral hemorrhages require emergency surgery.

Intraventricular Hemorrhage

An intraventricular hemorrhage occurs inside the ventricles of the brain. (The ventricles of the brain consist of four interconnected cavities that produce the spinal fluid in which the brain and spine float). Bleeds in the ventricles of the brain are mainly caused by the rupture of an aneurysm or a head injury. Intraventricular hemorrhages can block the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid, which can compress the brain against the rigid skull. In some cases, surgeons treat intraventricular hemorrhages by inserting a shunt, allowing cerebrospinal fluid to drain freely into a body cavity. This relieves the pressure and prevents the unnecessary buildup of cerebrospinal fluid.

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