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Subdural Haematoma Claims – Delayed or Missed Diagnosis

A subdural haematoma is a form of brain injury characterised by a pooling of blood between the skull and the surface of the brain and the formation of a blood clot (a haematoma) in the subdural area. It is a serious condition, often resulting in severe brain damage and death. Symptoms of the condition can be vague, manifesting as headache, drowsiness and nausea, and can mimic other, less serious head injuries, such as mild concussion; as such, it is possible for subdural haematomas to be misdiagnosed.

Failing to diagnose a subdural haematoma quickly can be very dangerous; the longer the condition takes to be diagnosed, the more pressure the blood clot puts on the brain, and the more likely it is that the patient’s brain will be damaged. If you or someone you know has been negatively affected by subdural haematoma misdiagnosis, contact us today to discuss your case on a no-win-no-fee basis.

What is a subdural haematoma?

A subdural haematoma occurs when a blood vessel in the subdural area of the brain is damaged. Blood leaks out of the blood vessel into the space between the skull and the brain, causing a haematoma; the haematoma puts pressure on the brain, resulting in brain damage.

Damage to a blood vessel that can lead to a haematoma in the brain is usually the result of an impact head injury; such as those injuries sustained during a car crash or a catastrophic fall but minor head injuries can also cause subdural haematomas in some cases.

A haematoma may be missed if the injury responsible for causing it was relatively mild and the patient is displaying non-specific symptoms such as headache and nausea. Regardless of the type of injury sustained, doctors should work to rule out subdural haematoma in all instances of brain injury; failure to do so could result in a patient being misdiagnosed and the doctor’s inability to investigate the patient’s condition further could be regarded as negligence. Delays in diagnosing and treating subdural haematomas can cause patients to experience unnecessary amounts of brain damage that could have been prevented. in such cases, the victim or family member are within their legal rights to make a Medical Negligence Claim.

What treatment is available?

Subdural haematomas are often treated with surgery. A craniotomy is one such type of surgery. During the procedure, a surgeon will remove a section of the skull and remove the haematoma beneath it. The area of the skull removed from the head is then reattached. Burr hole surgery is another type of surgery used to treat subdural haematomas; a small hole is drilled into the skull and a tube is pushed through the hole into the haematoma. The haematoma is then drained, reducing the pressure on the brain.

Both forms of surgery are performed under general anaesthetics and come with their own risks. The risks should be explained to the patient prior to surgery. If mistakes are made during the surgery, the patient may suffer as a result. Errors made during surgery can have a devastating impact on a patient’s recovery and can constitute medical negligence.

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How likely is it that a patient will recover?

A subdural haematoma is a serious form of brain injury; even with prompt treatment, the risk of death is high, and patients are often left with life-changing brain damage that can take time to adjust to. Rehabilitative therapy is usually prescribed after surgery to help patients adjust to the physical and mental changes that occur after subdural haematoma.

Although the risk of death and brain damage is always high with a subdural haematoma, a patient stands a higher chance of recovering without complications if the medical care they receive is of a good standard. Failure to diagnose the condition quickly, making errors during treatment (such as performing surgeries incorrectly) and not providing adequate post-operative rehabilitative therapy can all have a negative impact on a patient’s recovery. Delays making a diagnosis can increase the chance of a patient suffering severe complications, and mistakes made during surgery can leave patients with additional medical needs.

Should I claim?

If you feel mistakes made during your time receiving treatment have negatively affected your recovery, you have the right to make a claim. If your care was delayed or you suffered additional trauma due to mistakes made during surgery and treatment, you may be entitled to make a medical negligence claim against the medical professionals responsible for your care. Our team of specialist clinical negligence solicitors will guide you through the investigation process and help you claim the compensation you deserve.

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