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  • Lydia Brindley

What is Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)?

Acquired brain injury is any injury to the brain that has been caused since birth. Therefore it is not congenital in nature. There can be many different causes of ABI as well as a range of symptoms, some more subtle than others depending on the damage to the brain.


hospital patient lying down having head scanned in a scanner

The causes could be many. They could be caused by:

  • Trauma for example as a result of a car crash, fall or other accident

  • Stroke caused by embolism, thrombosis, or an aneurysm

  • A bleed to the brain

  • Lack of oxygen due to for example a heart attack or nearly drowning

  • Toxic exposure such as carbon monoxide poisoning or drug/solvent abuse

  • Infection

  • Fluid build-up in the brain

  • Brain tumours

Symptoms of ABI


The symptoms are varied and can affect how a person functions in different areas:


They can experience physical changes such as slurred speech, deafness, visual problems, paralysis, chronic pain or extreme fatigue.


The changes may be in cognitive function causing confusion, memory problems, language problems, or an inability to problem solve amongst other symptoms.


There may be emotional and personality changes. The victim may develop a short fuse, cry for no apparent reason, suffer extreme emotions or experience depression.


Finally, brain injury can cause social problems such as isolation, family breakdown, trouble forming relationships and loss of independence.


Not all ABIs are a result of medical negligence but sadly some can occur through negligent care. Failure to diagnose or a delay in diagnosis could lead to a delay in treatment or no effective treatment for many conditions.


The advertisement campaign to act FAST when a person is suffering from a suspected stroke demonstrates all too well that early intervention and access to treatment (medications such as Aspirin or anti-coagulants) can help prevent some of the devastating injuries to the brain caused by lack of oxygen.


However, strokes and heart attacks could also be prevented before they occur by monitoring a patient’s health beforehand. Well-managed high blood pressure and or high cholesterol could help prevent a stroke or heart attack in the first place which in turn could prevent the ABI.


Similarly, early action when meningitis is suspected (a bacterial or viral infection of the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord) can result in vastly improved outcomes for a patient. Antibiotics should be prescribed as well as steroids to reduce the swelling around the brain and once again early intervention is of the essence.


Early diagnosis of brain tumours could also result in earlier treatment or surgery in the hope of improving outcomes for a patient.


Unfortunately, in rare cases, the surgery itself can cause brain injury if the anaesthetic has not been correctly managed this can cause the brain to be starved of oxygen.


At Graystons we have many years of experience in dealing with cases of acquired brain injury and understand the devastating effect such an injury can have. We have gained multi-million-pound awards for our clients at the conclusion of the case. However, we have also gained interim payments of compensation from the Defendants as the case progresses. This can help victims to access rehabilitation earlier as well as allow them to make adaptions to their accommodation that may help in their everyday lives.


We want to make a difference in our clients’ lives and we want to help them adapt to the traumatic experience of such an injury.


We hope you found this post helpful. If you would like assistance with a medical negligence case, please contact us via our contact form or call us directly on 0151 645 0055

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