Was Your Traumatic Brain Injury Misdiagnosed?

Published on May 30th, 2018

traumatic brain injury misdiagnosisIf a doctor misdiagnoses your traumatic brain injury, he or she could be considered negligent, and you may have a case for a medical malpractice lawsuit. It’s a physician’s responsibility to meet the legal and acceptable standard of care. Even if a patient doesn’t present with obvious symptoms of a brain injury, the physician should ask pertinent questions and conduct a thorough examination to determine if the patient’s situation could have led to a traumatic brain injury.  

Consequences of a Misdiagnosed Brain Injury

No two brain injuries are alike, though signs and symptoms of a brain injury are often similar. The misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a brain injury can be catastrophic for a person, and could lead to further brain damage, a longer recovery period, and permanently impaired brain function. In the most serious cases, a misdiagnosis could lead to death.

6 Reasons a TBI Could Be Misdiagnosed

A brain injury is easy to overlook, which is why a doctor’s due diligence is so critical. Here are just some of the reasons a misdiagnosis can occur:

  • Symptoms of a TBI may not be obvious until days or even weeks after an accident, fall, or collision has occurred.
  • A doctor may neglect to complete a thorough examination, which includes gathering important facts about the circumstances a patient is in to determine if a TBI is likely.
  • The patient did not hit their head, but a violent movement is all that is needed to create a jolt and cause the brain to shift in the skull.
  • Imaging tools are relied upon for accurate diagnosis, but CAT scans and MRIs are an unreliable method of diagnosing a brain injury.
  • A patient’s other injuries take precedence and may demand immediate and ongoing attention, so the possibility of a brain injury goes unrecognized.
  • Inadequate medical care or poor monitoring during an emergency room visit or hospital stay, which leads to overlooked signs of a TBI.

Identifying Medical Negligence in the Face of a TBI

The brain is not meant to be jarred around in the skull. Any bruising, bleeding, tearing, or swelling that occurs within the brain is dangerous and must be treated seriously. It is essential for a traumatic brain injury to be diagnosed as soon as possible so treatment and therapy can begin.

It’s important to ask: What would a reasonable doctor have done in the same situation when a TBI could be present? What should the doctor do no matter what? Neurological functioning exams and extended monitoring of the patient’s state of being after diagnosis is essential to confidently rule out a brain injury.

If a medical professional did not explore all possible avenues of potential injury to confirm or dismiss the presence of a TBI, you may have a case of negligence or medical malpractice. The losses a person can suffer in the wake of a brain injury can be physical, mental, and emotional, as well as professional and personal.

Find out if you have a case, and get the compensation you need to pay for medical bills, lost wages, rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. Contact Thurswell Law for a free consultation with one of our experienced traumatic brain injury attorneys. We do not charge any fees unless you collect. Call (248) 354-2222 today.

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