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Understanding the different types of brain injuries

Under Louisiana law, medical malpractice occurs when a patient is injured due to a negligent act or omission of a doctor or other health care provider. The provider can be held liable, meaning that the provider will have to compensate the patient for his or her injuries. If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury, you may be wondering whether you can sue for medical malpractice. To help you understand your options, this post will explore the various types of brain injuries.

There are two main categories of brain injuries: traumatic and acquired. An external force to the head causes traumatic brain injuries. These injuries can be either closed or open, such as a skull fracture. Traumatic brain injuries include concussions, penetration injuries, contusions, and diffuse axonal injuries. Traumatic brain injuries typically do not arise from medical malpractice. Rather, they arise in criminal law cases, personal injury cases, and workplace accident cases.

Acquired brain injuries do frequently arise in medical malpractice cases. These types of injuries are caused by something other than an external force to the head. Some causes include oxygen deprivation, disease, and exposure to toxins, strokes, and tumors.

The two most common kinds of acquired brain injuries are anoxia and hypoxic brain injury. Anoxia happens when the brain is completely deprived of oxygen. A hypoxic brain injury means that the brain was deprived of some oxygen. Either type of injury can have very serious consequences, including long-term or permanent damage and even death.

Many medical malpractice claims for acquired brain injuries involve situations where the medical provider did not properly address a condition or acted in a way that worsened the condition. For example, if a person had a stroke and a doctor did not provide treatment in a timely way, the person may have suffered from oxygen deprivation that could have been mitigated. The person may then have a medical malpractice claim against the doctor for the injury. 

This post is intended to provide only an overview of the types of brain injuries. If you believe you may have a medical malpractice claim, you should speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Medical malpractice claims depend on the particular circumstances in each case. An attorney can evaluate your case and help you decide what to do next. 

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