Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Not Always Visible

Brain damage and traumatic brain injuries in newborns can sometimes be detected by physical appearances, recognized through brain scans, a child’s disposition, or developmental delays. Not all brain damages exhibit physical abnormalities but those that do often have unusually shaped skull structures (quite often a tiny skull size), difficulty focusing the eyes, large forehead, deformed spine, and other facial abnormalities.

Identifying Brain Injuries through Behavioral and Developmental Characteristics

new jersey philadelphia birth defects lawyers Traumatic Brain InjuriesBehavioral differences include excessive fussiness, extended periods of crying, refusal to sleep lying down, or too much or too little sleep. Another common indicator of brain damage is developmental delays. There are typical milestones that are generally expected of young children at specific stages of their life. For instance, there is a general age when most infants begin crawling, rolling over, uttering their first word, and so forth. A child with brain damage may have difficulty reaching these milestones at the typical age. Other symptoms can include body temperature, skin color, breathing patterns, seizures, and other similar indicators.
If your newborn baby suffers from one of the mentioned symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that your baby has brain damage or has suffered a traumatic brain injury. Abnormalities can occur due to wide array of reasons. Brain damage can only be diagnosed by a well-qualified and specialized medical professional. Each individual case varies depending on many factors. Your physician will know your specific situation better than anybody else and he or she will be able to identify any issues your child may be experiencing both externally and internally.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Traumatic brain injuries that have caused brain damage can be very detrimental to the health of a young child and it is crucial to identify potential problems as early as possible. If your child has suffered from some sort of brain damage and you believe the problem has been worsened by ineffective medical treatment it is likely you have some questions. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Have a Variety of Causes and Treatments

Traumatic brain injuries can vary considerably, especially so in newborn babies who can not verbally describe their pain or symptoms, making diagnosis and treatment more difficult. Some symptoms can be visible early on which helps in early treatment, but some brain injuries do not reveal themselves until later developmental stages.

It is important to understand what brain injury and damage truly is. Generally, brain damage can be defined as:

“injury to the brain that is caused by various conditions, such as head trauma, inadequate oxygen supply, infection, or intracranial hemorrhage, and that may be associated with a behavioral or functional abnormality.”

Brain Damage Poses Increased Problems in Newborns

new jersey philadelphia Brain Damage attorneys variety causes treatmentsBrain damage can be categorized in one of two ways – acquired and traumatic. Acquired brain injuries are those that do not result from external forces. For example, a stroke would cause an acquired brain injury because no outside forces are the cause. Depending on the site of the lesions ( a lesion is any area of tissue or organ that has suffered damage) and severity of the stroke, the brain damage can affect the victim in different ways. Traumatic brain injury is damage that is caused by external forces. A motor vehicle accident, known as MVA to medical professionals, is often the cause of traumatic brain injuries.

These differing types of brain injury will determine the path to treatment and recovery for the victim. Because newborn babies lack the ability to describe their symptoms and pain, brain scans, such as a CT – Computed Tomography – Scan may be used to get an x-ray view of the newborn baby’s brain. These scans can help identify lesions or recognize abnormal brain behavior.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If your loved one has suffered a brain injury and you believe that it can be attributed to the negligence of someone else, it is likely that you have some questions regarding your legal rights. Please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Antidepressants Linked to Higher Cognitive Function Post TBI

According to a story recently published in the Journal of Neurotrauma, a new study has shown that antidepressants, often prescribed to victims of traumatic brain injuries to cope with the emotional fallout of their trauma, also help to renew brain cells.

Traumatic Brain Injury Victims Getting More Out of Their Scripts

new jersey philadelphia traumatic brain injury attorneys antidepressant linked cognitive function TBIThe study gave imipramine, a commonly prescribed antidepressant, to injured lab mice. Researcher, Dr. Jason Huang, associate professor of neurosurgery at the University of Rochester Medical Center and chief of neurosurgery at Highland Hospital in New York, found that the mice treated with imipramine showed 70% more brain cell growth than the mice that were not treated with the drug. In addition to cell growth, the treated mice also displayed, through behavioral testing, improved memory skills.

Huang commented on the results of the study:

“What we propose in this study is that if you give [the drugs] right after the injury, in addition to the other treatments the patient is getting, we think additionally it could improve their cognitive function.”

The cell growth takes place in the section of the brain called the hippocampus – the area that controls memory. This explains the memory improvements seen in the mice treated with imipramine. While the drug stimulated much cell growth and improved cognitive functioning, it did nothing in the way of mobility or motor functions. So at this point, it is clear that antidepressants may revive a brain injury victim’s wits, but not necessarily their previous physicality.

Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Victims of traumatic brain injuries face life long complications – from cognitive set backs to physical limitations. TBI can change lives; not only of it’s victims, but also that victim’s family and friends. To treat and care for someone dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury can be difficult and costly. Few people are prepared to make the financial and physical commitment to providing the kind of care that is necessary to sustain a good quality of life. And unfortunately, TBI is often brought about by the negligence of someone else.

If your loved one recently suffered a traumatic brain injury and you believe another party is responsible, you probably have a list of questions regarding your legal rights. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Brain Injury Verdict Awarded to California Pedestrian

An $18.3 million traumatic brain injury verdict was handed to Cathy Liu, of Sacramento, California, 4 years after she was struck by a vehicle, causing her permanent paralysis on her right side.

Drivers Don’t Get Warnings, Pedestrians Get Hit

new jersey philadelphia brain injury attorneys awarded california pedestrianLiu, now 29, was struck in 2007 by 67 year old Douglas Wayne Seybert as he was turning an “S” curve on the Freeport Boulevard in Sacramento. Liu’s traumatic injury case focused on the lack of visibility along the boulevard where she was struck. Liu’s attorney argued that the city was negligent in providing substantial warning to motorists about the crosswalk they are approaching, the same crosswalk where Liu was hit.

Not free of liability was the the driver, Seybert, who admitted he sufferes from vision problems caused by diabetes. However, his liabiliy was limited, as it was determined that he did remove his foot from the gas pedal, and was only moving at 18-20 mph when he struck the woman.

In the end, Liu was deemed 10% liable for the incident, Seybert 39%, and the city of Sacramento, the remaing 51%.

Cathy Liu, a former doctor, currently suffers from aphasia, which has left her with reduced speaking abilities, and permanent paralysis on the right side of her body. The brain injuries she suffered in the accident have surely changed the rest of her life.

Traumatic Brain Injury Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Traumatic brain injuries are difficult, costly, and life changing events, that can occur at any time. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury, and you believe it was due to someone else’s negligence, you probably have many questions regarding your legal rights. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Hypothermia May Serve as Therapy to Prevent Brain Injury

The Mininno Law Office blog posted before about groundbreaking new treatment that can help prevent brain injuryand damage from occurring in newborns who have endured traumatic births. Now, that same treatment is being applied to adults who suffer cardiac arrest, reducing their risk of dying or suffering severe and permanent brain injuries.

Therapeutic Hypothermia

Brain Injury Lawyers in NJ and PA The treatment is called therapeutic hypothermia, and it is relatively new in the medical field. Therapeutic hypothermia involves lowering an unconscious patient’s temperature to between 32 and 34 degrees celsius using a “cooling blanket,” a special cap, or a mattress filled with either air or liquid. The aim of the treatment is to cool the patient’s brain and slow the rate of cell damage, therefore preventing irreversible brain injury or damage.

Because of the uncertainty that has surrounded the therapy for so long, not all practitioners provide it. So, while some hospitals do utilize therapeutic hypothermia to help thwart brain damage, other hospitals have yet to see it’s value. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has advised that health care professionals may consider therapeutic hypothermia for patients at risk of brain injury after cardiac arrest, under the hospital’s usual guidelines for experimental medicine.

Professor Bruce Campbell, Chair of the Interventional Procedures Advisory Committee which produced the guidance for NICE, commented on the potential of the new therapy, saying:

“The evidence shows that controlled cooling of selected patients who have suffered cardiac arrest can increase their chances of survival. The therapy can also reduce the risk of severe brain damage, which can occur when blood flow to the brain is disturbed. While the outcomes of therapeutic hypothermia seem to look promising, we still need to find out more about precisely which patients are most likely to benefit from its use. This is why we are encouraging further research in this area.”

Brain Injury Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Traumatic brain injuries and brain damage can change the course of many lives. And when these injuries occur due to the negligence of another, it is normal to feel cheated and owed. Brain injuries can cause the need for expensive and life long treatments and care, things that very few people are prepared to pay for.

If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, and you believe it was caused by the negligence of another, you probably have many questions your regarding your legal rights. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation, or call for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Traumatic Brain Injury Treatment Not Being Covered for Military Victims

traumatic brain injury lawyers in new jersey and philadelphiaMilitary healthcare officials are collectively refusing to pay for a new treatment to rehabilitate traumatic brain injury victims, despite widespread support from doctors and lawmakers

Traumatic Brain Injury and Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy

While Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, may bring on significant physical limitiations, it can also cause cognitive limitations. Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy (CRT) aims to repair those limitations. It addresses concentration, language skills, learning, memory, reasoning, judgement, and social skills. Through various techniques and learning exercises, therapists and neuropsychologists help patients regain the cognitive abilities they lost after sustaining a traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic Brian Injury Treatment and the Military

Military health officials have recently decided to disallow coverage for CRT because it has yet to be scientifically proven. Tricare Management Agency, an insurance company covering uniformed service members, retirees, and their families, said of the TBI treatment:traumatic brain injury lawyers in nj and pa

“There is insufficient, evidence-based research available to conclude that cognitive rehabilitation therapy is beneficial in treating traumatic brain injury.”

Tricare has said that CRT can be covered if it is bundled with other forms of treatment, such as speech or behavioral therapy, but can not be submitted for coverage as it’s own medical service.

Many doctors and medical providers believe that the real reason for withholding coverage is cost. CRT can be very expensive, costing as much as $50,000 for only four months of treatment. Dr. James Malec, research director at the Rehabilition Hospital in Indiana, commented:

“It seems to me this is motivated by an effort to control costs, that anything quote-unquote ‘new’ is going to be denied.”

Dr. Malec was asked to review Tricare’s study of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy and, upon doing so, opposed their decision to deny coverage. Tricare denied that cost played any part in their decision to deny coverage, saying that they base their decisions on “safety and efficacy of…treatment.”

Lawmakers’ Response to Denial of Treatment

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In 2008, Defense Secretary Robert Gates received a letter from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, urging that he push Tricare to provide coverage for the cognitive treatment. They even formed a Congressional Brain Injury Taskforce to continue the efforts of getting CRT covered. The task force, in a 2009 letter, wrote:

“Study after study has shown the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitative therapy in improving the health and functionality of TBI patients.”

Tricare has said that the formal policy on CRT coverage remains under review.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers in New Jersey and Philadelphia

Men and women in the military sacrifice their bodies, their minds, and their lives to fight for our freedoms, and for the freedoms of the disenfranchised. Today, violence in Iraq and Afghanistan is claiming the cognitive abilities of many soldiers, and they are returning home to find that the treatment they need is being denied them. The effects of traumatic brain injury, be they mild or severe, can change one’s life forever if the correct therapy and treatment is not promptly provided. Hopefully, Tricare will reconsider and change their position on coverage of Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy.

If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, and you are now facing cognitive and/or physical limitations, as well as medical bills, that you aren’t prepared to handle, contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. The traumatic brain injury lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are experienced and skilled in earning victims the full and fair compensation that they need and deserve. You may also call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Let the team at the Mininno Law Office work for you.

Medical Malpractice Causes Quadriplegia for Police Officer

17.7 million dollars was awarded to George Nissen after severe medical malpractice changed his life forever. medical malpractice and negligence attorneys in new jersey and philadelphia

Forty-seven year old George Nissen of Melrose Park, Illinois worked as a Stone Park Police Officer. On February 13, 2005, he responded to a complaint of a disturbance outside a town bar. While trying to dispurse the crowd and restore order to the area, Nissen was thrown over the hood of a car by one of the unruly crowd members. He struck his head on the curb. Nissen was quick to his feet, and none of his fellow officers suspected that any real damage or injury had occurred. A day later, Nissen was rushed to the hospital after having suffered a stroke, seemingly from injuries he sustained after the blow to the head.

Medical Malpractice at the University of Illinois Medical Center

He was admitted to the University of Illinois Medical Center to have an external ventricular drain inserted to drain the excess fluid on Nissen’s brain. The presence of the drain calls for close monitoring of intracranial pressure, which Nissen did not receive. His pressure levels rose to dangerous highs overnight and nurses failed to recognize or alert doctors of the complication, resulting in brain damage.

Today, Nissen is a quadriplegic, and can only communicate through eye or head movements. The University of Illinois has agreed to pay Nissen 16.2 million dollars, and an additional 1.5 million is being paid by an independant nursing agency that employed the negligent nurses.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia

If you or a loved one are victims of medical malpractice or negligence, please contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation. Our medical malpractice attorneys are experienced and knowledgable in all areas of medical law, and are prepared to work hard and earn you the compensation you need and deserve. You may also call for a free consultation at 856-833-0600 in New Jersey, or 215-567-2380 in Philadelphia. The Mininno Law Office team is here for you.

Brain Injury Prompts Change on the Battlefield

Traumatic Brain Injury is a serious and occasionally devastating event that can change the course of person’s life forever. Concussions, though outwardly showing almost no symptoms, can be fierce catalysts for traumatic brain injuries.
Proffessional sports organizations have been forced to take precautions when players suffer concussions, and now, military forces will be forced to take those same precautions.

new jersey philadelphia attorneys traumatic brain injury concussion
This is an image of abnormal brain activity after a concussion. Red signals overactivity and blue signals underactivity.

Military Precautions Regarding Traumatic Brain Injury

A story done by NPR on Tuesday, October 12th, revealed that Mike Mullen, United States Navy Admiral and current Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, has ordered that soldiers near a bomb blast must be removed from battle for at least 24 hours, and must be checked for traumatic brain injury.

The reason being that energy and shockwaves from an explosion can reach the brain and cause damage, even if the head is totally intact. Concussions rarely leave visible symptoms, aside from dilated pupils. It is imperative that soldiers are checked for concussions, as they often cause fuzzy, slowed, or perhaps even irrational thinking.

Director of Brain Research at UCLA, David Hovda, explains why fuzzy thinking on the battlefield is dangerous:

If you’re going to call in a mortar strike, you have to do some fancy math and some really sophisticated calculations in your head, and you could create a problem if this isn’t done correctly.

Hovda also explains that after a concussion, the brain’s metabolism is slowed, leaving brain cells starved for energy. The risk of increased injury is greater when soldiers are allowed to return to the battlefield after sustaining a concussion.

During the time when this metabolism is altered,” Hovda says, “the brain not only is dysfunctional, but it’s also extremely vulnerable, so that if it’s exposed to another mild injury, which normally you’d be able to tolerate really well, now there can be long-term devastating consequences.

Traumatic Brain Injury Effects

Long term effects of multiple concussions are visible in many of the soldiers that have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan in the past few years. Jake Mathers, of Monroe, Louisianna, suffered a number of concussions while on a 7 month tour as a Marine in Iraq. All of the concussions came from bomb blasts that occured close to him. He was never physically injured, but he now finds that his memory has changed.

I’ll lose my pack of smokes like three or four times a day, and I’ll buy different packs of smokes ’cause I forget that I bought them,” he says. “Or sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and forget where I’m going or lose my car keys, cell phone.

Mathers also suffers from headaches, nightmares, and occasional insomnia.

Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyers at the Mininno Law Office

A traumatic brain injury can be life-altering, not only for the victim, but the victim’s family and friends as well. If you’re loved one suffered a traumatic brian injury due to the negligence of another, you’ll need to seek the assistance of a skilled and hard-working traumatic brain injury lawyer. The brain injury lawyers at the Mininno Law Office are dedicated to fighting for those who have been wronged and earning them the compensation they will need and deserve.

Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Listen to NPR broadcast here

Traumatic Brain Injury Keeps Ian Laperriere off the Ice Indefinitely

In honor of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Season Opener tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins, today’s blog will focus on the traumatic brain injury Ian Laperriere received last season in round one of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against the New Jersey Devils. In the third period of Game 5, Ian Laperriere took a slapshot to the face by New Jersey defenseman Paul Martin.

“He was hit above the right eyebrow, suffering a gash that required 60-70 stitches. He said he did not believe he suffered a head injury, but vowed never to play another game without a visor.”

new jersey philadelphia traumatic brain personal injury attorneys ian laperriere case
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 22: Ian Laperriere #14 of the Philadelphia Flyers reacts after being injured in the third period by Paul Martin of the New Jersey Devils in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.

At first, doctors said there was no effect to Lappy’s brain. A second scan revealed a brain contusion, which is essentially a bruise on the brain.
No one expected Laperriere to return to the post season. He missed all 7 games of the Semifinals against the Boston Bruins, and, to everyone’s surprise, rejoined the roster on May 22nd in game 1 of the Conference Finals against the Montreal Canadiens.

Today, Ian Laperriere is facing retirement because of the injuries he sustained 3 minutes and 56 seconds into the third period of game 5 on April 22, 2010.

It is clear now that his return to the game last post season was far too early, probably brought on by a management staff that didn’t want to lose a star player, and a dedicated hockey player downplaying the severity of his symptoms.

Doctors have advised the 36 year old father of two to retire because of nerve damage done to his eye, and the post-concussion syndrome he is now suffering from.
Lappy seems to agree with them:

When I get the lights going and there is movement around me, it gets worse and worse and I feel like I’m not myself. That’s what scares me, and that’s why I can’t play. They don’t want me to get hit again and I don’t want to get hit. If I feel this bad right now, how will I feel on my next hit? If I’m not sharp out there, especially with my game, I’m going to get killed.” Ian Laperriere

He is out indefinately this season, and no one knows what he will do concerning the rest of his career. It’s hard to see that he can’t play, as he has tremendous skill and even more heart. As Flyers fans, we want him to return to the game, but not at the expense of his life.

Traumatic Brain Injuries can be devastating. Ian Laperriere could be looking at the end of his career, as so many other athletes have after blows the head.

Traumatic Brain Injury: Are you a Victim?

Have you or a loved one suffered from a traumatic brain injury? Was it due to someone else’s negligence? Are you now facing physical limitations and medical bills you are not prepare to handle? Contact a traumatic brain injury attorney at the Mininno Law Office: our hard work and dedication will be necessary to get you the compensation you deserve.

Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.

Video: Lappy Takes Slapshot to the Face (Don’t watch if you are squeamish)