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Acquired Brain Injury

Acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that occurs after birth and is not hereditary. The acquired brain injury occurs at the cellular level within the brain, affecting cells throughout the entire brain. An acquired brain injury may cause mild to severe impairments in one or multiple areas; functions affected by acquired brain injury include cognition, communication, memory, attention, reasoning, physical functions, psychosocial behavior and information processing.

Types of acquired brain injury involve the depletion or cessation of oxygen to the brain. There are different forms of acquired brain injury, depending upon the amount of oxygen the brain receives. The absence of oxygen (anoxic acquired brain injury) can be anemic in nature, with the blood incapable of carrying sufficient oxygen, while toxic anoxic acquired brain injury occurs when toxins or metabolites block oxygen in the blood from being used. A hypoxic acquired brain injury is the result of the brain receiving some, but not enough, oxygen. This type of acquired brain injury occurs when the brain’s blood supply drops due to insufficient blood flow or blood pressure.

Acquired brain injury has a number of causes, including airway obstruction, choking, and electrical shock. Certain diseases can trigger acquired brain injury, such as AIDS, brain tumors, hypo/hyperglycemia, and seizure disorders. Exposure to toxins can also trigger acquired brain injury, with illegal drug use, alcohol abuse, lead/carbon monoxide poisoning, some chemotherapy, and toxic chemicals causing acquired brain injury in many individuals.

Because the damages are so widespread, the effects of an acquired brain injury can be devastating, affecting every aspect of a victim’s life. Rehabilitation and recovery from acquired brain injury is usually a slow, involved process, and some patients will never recover fully from an acquired brain injury. Treatment is often expensive, with the medical bills, rehabilitation programs, and medications to combat acquired brain injury often reaching into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many cases, the families of an acquired brain injury victim are also deeply affected by loss of income and emotional and mental trauma.

Acquired brain injury victims should receive the best possible treatment to assure the highest chance of recovery. An acquired brain injury occurred through the fault or negligence of another party, then the victim of the acquired brain injury or their loved ones may be entitled to recover costs associate with treatment. Acquired brain injury victims may also be eligible to collect non-economic damages for pain and suffering and mental anguish. Attorneys familiar with acquired brain injury litigation may be able to help you and your loved ones decide the most appropriate course of action.

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