Higher Risk For Elderly Head Injuries

Did you know that a senior citizen not only has a higher risk of suffering a head injury and is more likely to have a more severe injury?

Unfortunately, accidents happen and can have serious consequences with head injuries being one of them. The most common causes of head injuries in the elderly are falls, closely followed by road traffic accidents. Head injuriesfrom road traffic accidents are often severe, and need several months of rehabilitation, but even minor head injuries can lead to complications.

Subdural hematoma is a possible result of a head injury, and is a highly common result of a minor head injury in the elderly. What happens with this condition is that tiny veins between the surface of the brain and its outer covering stretch and tear, allowing blood to collect. In the elderly, the veins are often already stretched because of brain atrophy (shrinkage) and are therefore more easily injured. The symptoms of subdural hematoma are:

  • Confused speech
  • Visual disturbances
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty with balance or walking
  • Headache
  • Lethargy or confusion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

If you spot any of these symptoms get medical assistance immediately.  Emergency surgery is often the only way to reduce the pressure within the brain. Recovery varies from patient to patient depending on which area of the brain was mostly affected.
A brain injury is a likelihood of this condition especially if medical negligence is involved meaning the condition was not detected in time. If a brain injury has been sustained then rehabilitation and extra care is required. In this case you may well be entitled to compensation. If you decide to claim compensation be sure to consult with a lawyer who specialises in head and brain injury claims, as these cases vary from the procedures of other personal injury claims. Experience and empathy skills are required for such cases, as it often takes a long time to calculate the right amount of compensation including rehabilitation options that you require. It’s best to find a lawyer you like and trust as you will be spending a lot of time together in a very emotional atmosphere.
Prevention of head injuries is the best way to protect yourself from subdural hematomas. When out and about, wear the right type of equipment. For instance if you’re cycling or on a motorbike, wear a helmet, or if you’re susceptible to falls be sure to have someone with you.

For the elderly to avoid accidents around the house, install grip bars in showers and bathrooms, cover high gloss flooring with padded, wall to wall carpeting and try to avoid using stairs.

Getting medical help fast is urgent. The quicker you can get emergency care the  better. Invest in a emergency medical pendant for seniors living alone.

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