In 2016-17 there were 954 admissions to UK hospitals every day for brain injury - one every 90 seconds. The figures show that whilst men are more likely to suffer a head injury than women, the number of women affected has increased by a startling 23% over a 10 year period.
Severe physical trauma to the head following a road traffic accident or assault is perhaps the most obvious way in which we tend to think of a brain injury occurring, but they can be caused in a myriad of different ways; some more obvious than others. Examples include:
- Concussion as the result of a sports injury leading to pressure forming inside the skull from internal bleeding or inflammation;
- Infections, such as encephalitis, causing inflammation of the brain tissue;
- Some health conditions, such as epilepsy or Patent Foramen Ovale (colloquially known as having a hole in the heart), increase the risk of suffering injury to the brain. In the case of epilepsy, research by Headway suggests the risk at least doubles compared with the general population;
- An aneurysm (a bulge in a blood vessel caused by a weakness in the blood vessel wall) can occur for several reasons including high blood pressure, undetected inherent weaknesses or even infections;
- Over-zealous or incorrect restraint has also sometimes led to significant brain injury;
- Strokes and deep vein thrombosis can cause the blood supply to the brain to be interrupted by blood clots which damage brain cells through oxygen deprivation;
- Decompression Sickness (more commonly known as the 'bends') when large bubbles of nitrogen formed in the blood stream of scuba divers while diving are not expelled before surfacing.
The impact of acquired brain injury can also vary wildly. Some people make a full recovery with no apparent side effects, some have temporary issues which resolve with treatment over time and others suffer significant permanent impairment to cognitive and physical functions.
Headway specialises in offering support to victims of acquired brain injury helping them get their lives back on track. Fosters supports the work of Headway by securing compensation for those who have suffered brain injury as the result of someone else's actions, enabling them to fund the ongoing treatment, support and adaptations they will need for the rest of their lives.
If you or someone you know has suffered an acquired brain injury due to the actions or inactions of a third party, contact us to speak to one of our Personal Injury & Medical Negligence team. We can be contacted on 0800 731 8539 or email us.