North Carolina Diffuse Axonal Injury Lawyer

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The medical term for the type of brain damage brought on by the ripping of the axons, the connections between brain cells, is known as diffuse axonal injury. When the injured party is subjected to intense shaking or a strong impact that bends and rotates the brain within the skull, these axons rupture and cause the victim to suffer neurological damage. Axons are damaged due to strain dragging them over one another, which shears and tears them. Instead of killing brain tissue directly, as a bullet wound may do, this  form of injury eliminates the channels via which brain cells connect. Even healthy brain cells cannot perform their functions if they cannot communicate with one another. Because diffuse axonal damage (DAI) is widespread, affecting many different sections of the brain, it can negatively impact numerous functions.

Do I Need a Diffuse Axonal Injury Attorney?

Major cognitive impairments, changes in behavior, and physical limitations are all possible results of traumatic brain injuries. If someone else’s negligence caused you or a loved one to suffer head trauma and diffuse axonal damage, you may be eligible to pursue financial compensation for your damages. If you want to get your life back on track after suffering an injury, you need an attorney with the skills, knowledge, and resources to get you the maximum compensation possible. Our attorneys at Tatum and Atkinson, who focus on cases involving diffuse axonal damage, have decades of experience. You can trust that we will fight tirelessly to get you the justice and compensation you deserve if you come to us for aid. If you have suffered from diffuse axonal damage and would like a free consultation, please get in touch with us as soon as possible.

Major Causes of DAI

DAI is more likely to develop in people who have been involved in an automobile accident, an accident related to sports, violence, falls, or child maltreatment, such as shaken baby syndrome. These accidents do not always involve a hit to the head, but rather the brain being shaken back and forth inside the skull by acceleration or deceleration. Diffuse axonal injury is commonly linked to these types of accidents. When something like this occurs, the axons of the nerve cells, which are the sections of the cell that allow neurons to communicate with one another, are damaged. A shearing injury can result when two layers of tissue rub against one another. The release of chemicals into the brain by neurons as a result of shearing is another way that shearing can induce more brain damage. The death of brain cells is still another consequence of a diffuse axonal injury, which can lead to swelling in the brain and, as a consequence of the additional pressure, further damage to the organ due to the swelling.

Signs and Symptoms of DAI

The most prominent symptom of diffuse axonal damage is a condition of unconsciousness that can persist for up to six hours or even longer. People aware of and suffering from mild or moderate diffuse axonal damage may have different symptoms of brain injury. The symptoms they experience are determined by whatever portion of the brain is injured. Some other symptoms are:

  • Reduced energy levels, including chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Development of memory impairment
  • Attention deficit defects
  • Vertigo and dizziness
  • Disturbance in executive functioning (planning, organizing daily activities)
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Elevated, expansive levels of Irritability
  • Loss of motor function skills
  • Apraxia: impaired ability to carry out motor functions
  • Aphasia: linguistic disturbance

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs due to the stretching and tearing of the brain’s axonal fibers, which connect brain cells. This type of injury is often caused by high-impact accidents, such as car crashes or falls, and can result in long-term damage to the brain.

When it comes to DAI, severity can range from mild to severe, and different classifications have been developed to categorize the extent of the injury. The Adams Classification is one such system that helps healthcare professionals determine the severity of the injury.

Grade I

Grade I DAI is considered to be mild and involves damage to the cerebellum or subcortical lobar white matter. Patients with Grade I DAI may present with neurological symptoms, but they are generally not severe.

Grade II

Grade II DAI is more extensive and involves damage to axons throughout the brain, particularly in the corpus callosum. Patients with Grade II DAI may experience a range of symptoms, including impaired cognitive function, memory loss, and difficulty with speech and movement.

Grade III

Grade III DAI is the most severe classification, with diffuse axonal injury and specific lesions in the dorsolateral region of the rostral brainstem and corpus callosum. Patients with Grade III DAI may experience significant neurological symptoms, including coma or persistent vegetative state.

In addition to the Adams Classification, other factors are taken into account when determining the value of compensation for individuals who have suffered DAI. This includes economic damages, such as medical bills, property loss, and loss of income, as well as non-economic damages, such as emotional trauma, loss of personal relationships, and a reduction in their overall quality of life.

How to Diagnose DAI

A diagnosis of DAI can be made through CT scanning of the injured brain in conjunction with MRI, specifically SWI sequences. The ability of CT scans to detect single or several minor hemorrhages in the cerebral hemisphere is a significant advantage. CT scans also have the capability of detecting:

  • Internal bleeding within the ventricles
  • Bruising and bleeding inside the corpus callosum
  • In addition, there are several spots of bleeding along the third vertical.

The benefits of employing CT imaging to diagnose diffuse axonal brain injury include the following:

  • It is generally available in most hospitals
  • It is relatively more cost-effective than an MRI
  • It can be rapidly implanted.

Using a CT scan to diagnose traumatic brain injury has several limitations, one of which is that it cannot diagnose diffuse axonal brain injuries in more than fifty percent of patients.

MRI scanning has the benefit of being more sensitive than diffusion tensor tractography (DTT), which allows for a larger chance of picking up on DAI damage through its imaging. This is an advantage over DTT. Diffusion tensor tractography, also known as DTT or MRI Diffusion Tensor Tractography, is a relatively new type of MRI test that is being implemented at a growing number of healthcare facilities. SWI, which stands for susceptibility-weighted imaging of DAI, is another technique that can be performed to identify a DAI.

Treatment for DAI

Treatment for DAI consists of providing comfort, aiding in rehabilitation, and preventing further harm. Studies of individual cases show a high mortality rate due to secondary ailments such as cerebral pressure, edema, and hypoxia with concomitant hypotension. Immediate medical attention is necessary to prevent consequences such as edema, ischemia, hypotension, and increased intracranial pressure (ICP).

Dysautonomia is often described as a result of diffuse axonal injury. However, there is currently no effective treatment for this disorder. To begin treating a patient with a traumatic brain injury, resuscitation is the first and most crucial step. Individuals with a GCS score of 8 or lower should have their intracranial pressure (ICP) monitored after neurosurgical consultation.

Intracranial pressure monitoring may also be used for patients unable to undergo continuous neurological tests. Most hospitals will only use this technique on patients who are also getting general anesthesia, opioid analgesics, and sedatives. The amount of oxygen reaching the brain can be measured in several ways, including by tracking changes in intracranial pressure and cerebral oxygen saturation. It is possible that anticonvulsant treatment, which is given for a very short time, might be advised to avoid initial post-traumatic seizures.

Diffuse Axonal Injury Lawyer

It is critical that your attorney thoroughly understands the extent of your DAI traumatic brain injury and that they work with the appropriate professionals to calculate the compensation you are entitled to, given the severity of your impairments.

Depending on the case’s specifics, an injured person may be entitled to compensation for past and future medical expenses, lost wages, reduced earning potential, pain and suffering, diminished quality of life, loss of consortium, and other damages. Diffuse axonal damage cases may necessitate the involvement of specialists like a medical expert, an attorney experienced in such cases, and an economist. These people have specialized education and can give an informed assessment of the issue based on their knowledge. Because of the complexity and length of time involved in dealing with a traumatic brain injury case, the injured client and their family are well advised to hire a lawyer who focuses on this type of injury.

If you or someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, don’t hesitate to contact us at Tatum & Atkinson, ‘the Heavy Hitters.’ We are a distinguished law firm specializing in traumatic brain injury litigation in North Carolina. We offer free consultations to evaluate your case, so you can understand your legal options and what compensation you may be entitled to. You can set up a confidential case review by calling us at (800) 529-0804 or contacting us online, and we will respond as soon as possible. Take the first step toward seeking justice, and let us help you navigate the legal process.