Written by David Withers, Personal Injury Partner
The University of Birmingham have recently published their review into the likelihood of suffering from a stroke after a brain injury. This made for troubling reading.
The review found that those with a traumatic brain injury had an 86% increased risk of stroke when compared to patients who had not experienced a traumatic brain injury. The risk of stroke was at its highest for the first four months post-injury, but remained elevated for the first five years.
Troubling, the review found that traumatic brain injury was a risk factor for stroke regardless of how serious the injury was and even if the patients apparently recover well.
Lead author Dr Grace Turner, of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Applied Health Research, said: “As our review has shown, TBI patients should be informed of the potential for increased stroke risk and with the risk of stroke at its highest in the first four months post-injury, this is a critical time period to educate patients and their care givers on stroke risk and symptoms. This initial four-month period should also be used by clinicians to administer stroke prevention medication and lifestyle advice to mitigate the excess risk of stroke associated with TBI”.
The author has represented a 45 year old individual who suffered from a stroke after trauma to the brain. Gill (not her real name) was driving a vehicle when she was struck by a driver who had been speeding. The contact was to the side of Gill’s vehicle. She tore her carotid artery leading to a stroke. She had left sided paralysis and is largely wheelchair dependent. Although a multi-disciplinary team was implemented as part of the personal injury claim, meaning that she made an optimal recovery, she was only able to walk with a walking aid for short distances. She required alternative accommodation and significant care.
To find out more about the review, please visit this link.
To find out more about the ways we can support you or a loved one after a serious injury read more here.
"In personal injury cases, it is vital that the injured person’s condition and prognosis is thoroughly investigated. There is the potential to obtain Provisional Damages Orders if the risk of deterioration, arising from the negligence, is more than fanciful. If the stroke risk is heightened for a period of 5 years, all legal professionals working in the serious injury field should take careful note. I have seen first-hand the devastating impact that a stroke can have. A Provisional Damages Order enables the injured person to re-activate or re-open their personal injury claim if there has been a deterioration as a result of the negligence. This would include a stroke. It is likely that the majority, if not all, heads of loss would increase after a stroke. " David Withers, Serious Injury Partner