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After a traumatic brain injury, there are conditions that necessitate surgery. Many are related to bleeding. Surgeons normally get things right however there are occasions when things go wrong which can lead to a medical negligence compensation claim being initiated by a brain injury surgery solicitor.

An epidural haematoma is a blood clot that occurs with injury to the arterial blood vessels crossing between the skull and outer lining of the brain, called the dura mater. There is often a skull fracture associated with an epidural haematoma. The skull fracture can lacerate a meningeal artery. Because an artery has significant blood flow, the haematoma will occur rapidly. It will press on the brain. The diagnosis of an epidural haematoma is made by CAT scan. The clot must then be evacuated surgically.

A subdural haematoma occurs on the other side of the dura, between the dura and the brain tissue. An acute subdural haematoma usually occurs because of severe brain trauma. The veins from the surface of the brain to the dura are torn, and the venous blood forms the haematoma. The elderly are more at risk for subdural haematoma because their veins are thinner and more brittle. This condition is also diagnosed by CAT scan and usually must be drained surgically.

Haemorrhages inside the brain itself can occur from trauma. They can be within the brain tissue, like contusions, or there can actually be a clot formed inside the brain. These would also be seen on CAT scan. If the patient is in a coma or has a significant neurologic deficit, the clot would be removed surgically.

Skull fractures are diagnosed by x-ray. Linear fractures that are not depressed heal on their own and do not usually need surgery. Depressed skull fractures need to be elevated if they are compressing the brain. Shattering of the skull, as can happen with a gunshot wound, can push skull fragments into the brain, and they must be removed if surgery is attempted. Basilar skull fractures occur at the bottom part of the brain and are more dangerous than fractures of the rest of the skull. They break the barrier between the inside of the skull and structures outside of it. Cerebrospinal fluid can leak out, and be seen coming out of the nose or ears. Blood can be seen behind the ear drum. Blood can dissect out under the skin and show up around the patient’s eyes. Their appearance gives them the name “raccoon eyes.” Basilar fractures do not usually need surgery unless the dura needs to be repaired. Patients are often treated with antibiotics because there is communication between the brain and outside.

A patient with an open wound on the scalp that communicates with a skull fracture, an “open fracture,” will also need antibiotics. Scalp wounds in general will be sewn up or sutured regardless of other injuries if the patient is stable.

Brain Injury Surgery Solicitors

Our solicitors specialise in compensation claims for personal injury resulting from accidents caused by the negligence of a third party. We also deal with medical negligence compensation claims arising out of treatment of these injuries. We deal with physical injuries of the utmost severity including catastrophic damage to the spinal cord and brain and consequential psychological damage. If you would like to speak to a brain injury surgery solicitor without any obligation whatsoever just use the contact form or call the helpline. We do not charge for this advice advice and if you decide to use our services we operate a totally risk free no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.



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The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here