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Misdiagnosing a brain injury can have devastating consequences

A misdiagnosis of brain swelling can be devastating to a patient. When the brain swells, quick action needs to be taken to release pressure. Unlike other parts of the body, the brain is trapped inside a hard skull, which does not flex or expand when the brain swells. Since this is the case, brain swelling can actually lead to severe injuries that may worsen if the swelling is not reduced quickly.

Brain swelling is caused by a number of things. For example, if you're in a car crash and hit your head on the window, you may suffer an injury that results in your brain swelling. Brain swelling is diagnosed with a neurological exam, head and neck exam, computerized tomography scans, magnetic resonance imaging scans and blood tests depending on the potential cause of the swelling.

As a patient or the loved one of a patient who has witnessed brain swelling go misdiagnosed, it's important to understand what a doctor should do if brain damage is suspected. There are several common symptoms that would indicate the need for further testing. These include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, irregular breathing, memory loss, a loss of consciousness, the inability to walk, stupor, seizures, headaches and vision loss.

Patients complaining of any of the above problems should be tested further. Failing do to so could result in the damage to the brain spreading as it continues to swell. If this happens, you or your loved one could have long-term complications and symptoms that may have been avoided with proper treatment. In that case, it's possible you may have a medical malpractice case. Your attorney can help you understand if your case has what it needs to win in court.

Source: WebMD, "Brain Swelling," accessed June 07, 2017

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