Second Head Injury May Have Serious Implications, Possibly Including Death

May 24, 2014
by Adler Markoff & Associates

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    Second Head Injury May Have Serious Implications, Possibly Including Death

    New research indicates that a second blow to the head following an initial traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in serious side effects in victims, and may considerably increase the individual’s risk of death. In a study recently published online by the Journal of Neurosurgery, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine examined the risks associated with a phenomenon known as second impact syndrome (SIS), a rare and often fatal traumatic brain injury. If you or your loved one has suffered a devastating head injury in a car accident, slip and fall, or any accident caused by another person’s negligence in Oklahoma, contact our reputable attorneys at AMA Law to explore your possible compensation options.


    Second impact syndrome reportedly occurs when a repeat injury to the head occurs before a previous injury has fully healed. The existence of this syndrome is controversial, and the Journal of Neurosurgery study is the first to document neuroimaging of the brain between impacts and an early brain MRI following the second head injury. The analysis focused on a case involving a 17-year-old football player from Indiana who suffered an initial TBI that went undetected by a CT scan prior to sustaining a second head injury. After the second head trauma, the teen experienced dizziness, severe headaches and loss of feeling in his legs. He spent more than three months in the hospital before he was finally discharged with lasting effects of the head injuries, including a loss of his short-term memory, the inability to walk unassisted, and impaired verbal, cognitive and motor skills.


    According to experts, a second injury to the brain following an initial head trauma may have devastating side effects if the brain doesn’t have enough time to recover in between. These complications may even be fatal in some situations, even when the second blow is no more severe than a minor bump, because the bump often causes significant swelling of the brain. “One of the most alarming features of our case is that our patient suffered what has been historically euphemized as just a “ding” during a [football] play that was not extraordinary in any way,” wrote the study authors. Young children in particular may be at risk for life-altering and possibly fatal complications from multiple head injuries, potentially attributed to the fact that growing brains in adolescents have little to no room to accommodate brain swelling, unlike a mature brain.


    While the case analyzed in this revealing study involved a teen who suffered head injuries while playing football, there are a number of other circumstances in which a victim may sustain one or more blows to the head, including in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, assaults, and more. The unfortunate truth is that traumatic brain injuries are very common in the United States, affecting nearly 1.7 million people every year. If you have been adversely affected by a serious head injury, or if you lost a loved one to a traumatic brain injury, consult our qualified lawyers at AMA Law for legal help. You may have grounds to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the person or party found at-fault in the accident, in order to seek fair and timely reimbursement for your losses, and our Oklahoma City-based law firm can help.

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