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Diffusional Axonal Brain Injuries

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Jeff Sevey

Someone could suffer a diffusional axonal brain injury as the result of a car accident, a sudden jolt or violent shaking (primarily occurs in infants), playing certain sports, or a high-impact fall. This is a serious injury that can cause severe mental and physical impairment or even death.

If you or someone you love suffered a brain injury because of someone else’s reckless or careless behavior or because of negligent care (as is often the case with children or older adults) you do not have to shoulder the financial burden without taking action.

When you consult with a professional brain injury attorney, they may be able to obtain compensation to help pay medical expenses, lost income, and money to support yourself and your family while you focus on treatment and recovery.

Let our Sacramento and Roseville injury lawyers at The Sevey Law Firm put our experience to work for you. We have assisted our clients in recovering millions of dollars in compensation, so do not hesitate to contact our office today so we can discuss your claim.

What is Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury?

A diffusional axonal brain injury is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that causes white matter lesion bundles across multiple areas, substantially affecting the whole brain. This disrupts the axons, which enable the brain’s neurons to communicate with each other, of the brain’s nerve cells. Once axons have been disrupted, there is dramatic interference with the messaging system of the brain, which can cause body systems to shut down resulting in things like loss of speech, loss of motor skills, and respiratory failure.

What Causes Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury?

The brain is surrounded in the skull by a fluid sac that protects the delicate infrastructure of neurons, nerve cells, and blood vessels that enable the complex messaging within the brain and from the brain to the rest of the body. When the head is violently shaken or experiences a sudden, intense rotation, the brain moves around in the fluid sac, tearing nerve tissue and blood vessels throughout the brain. Brain cells then begin to rupture and release chemicals within the brain, causing further injury and causing the brain to swell. The increased pressure of the swelling can decrease the amount of blood flow to the brain, injuring the brain even more.

Symptoms of Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury

The symptoms manifested in diffusional axonal brain injuries are, in many ways like those typically seen in most traumatic brain injuries. They include dizziness, headaches, and brief loss of consciousness. However, the distinguishing symptoms of many diffusional axonal brain injuries are the loss of consciousness for an extended period or slipping into a coma.

Diagnosing Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury

In cases of mild diffusional axonal brain injuries, where the patient is conscious, a battery of questions about the injury and symptoms the patient is experiencing will be asked. There will also be a series of questions to determine to cognitive state of the patient. Then the patient will undergo testing to look at the brain, including Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Sensory Evoked Potentials studies that measure electrical responses in the brain to stimulation of touch, sight, and sound, and electroencephalogram (EEG), which measures total electric activity in the brain.

In cases of severe diffusional axonal brain injuries, most patients are unconscious, so the only reliable way to assess damage to the brain is through an MRI, the Sensory Evoked Potentials studies, and an EEG.

Treating a Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury

It is critical to get treatment as soon as possible for any diffusional axonal brain injury, because the more time that passes between the injury and treatment, the more damaged the brain may become.

The first course of treatment is to reduce the swelling in the brain. This accomplished through anti-inflammatory medications like steroids (pulse therapy is often used in case like these where the steroids are continuously pumped through an IV into the body to get the swelling under control quickly).

In cases where the diffusional axonal brain injury is mild or moderate, rehabilitative therapy will be the next course of treatment. This may include speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Recovery to a more or less normal condition in these cases can take from several months to up to one year.

Sadly, there is generally little to no recovery from the most severe diffusional axonal brain injuries. For patients who are in a long-term coma or who are in a vegetative state, there will be around-the-clock extensive – and expensive – medical care for as long as they live.

Side Effects or Complications of Diffusional Axonal Brain Injury

If the diffusional axonal brain injury is very severe and not treated quickly or adequately, the victim could fall into a coma. In general, once a victim enters a coma, the odds are overwhelming that the person will either die or never emerge from it. The other long-term complication of a severe diffusional axonal brain injury can be that the patient is in a vegetative state and completely unable to do anything for themselves.

In milder cases of diffusional axonal brain injuries, there may be memory loss, mood swings (the frontotemporal lobe is always involved in diffusional axonal brain injuries, and that is where emotional control and executive function live in the brain), an increased risk of seizures or strokes, trouble with balance, and, eventually, cognitive impairment and dementia.

Contact an Experienced Brain Injury Lawyer

Did you or someone you love suffer a severe brain injury because somebody else was careless or reckless? If so, you may be owed significant compensation, and you may be able to recover the money you need by filing an injury lawsuit against the party responsible.

An experienced Sacramento and Roseville brain injury lawyer will work hard to ensure that you or your loved one receive what you are entitled to as a result of accident. You could be eligible for compensation for pain, suffering, medical costs, and any other expenses directly attributable to the accident.

Accidents happen, but the liability for the aftermath, whether it is long-term severe brain damage or death shortly after the accident, should not lie with you or your loved one. The Roseville brain injury attorneys at The Sevey Law Firm are here to help you get justice for the accident. We believe that you deserve full and fair compensation if you were hurt due to someone else’s actions. Contact our knowledgeable and experienced team at (916) 788-7100 to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help you with your claim.

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