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Friday, June 29, 2012

Simple Head Bump Can Cause Permanent Disability

According to a Chicago neurologist, a simple bump on the head can cause permanent disability to a person even months after the injury occurred.

The neurologist at Loyola University Medical Center, Jose Biller, claimed that a person who slipped on ice and accidentally bumped her head began experiencing weakness in her right leg and right arm a couple of months after the incident. Right after the accident, the patient wasn’t even concerned about her head bump.

Biller immediately ordered a magnetic resonance imaging scan for the patient. The scan result revealed a large subdural hematoma – a form of traumatic brain injury. It is a mass of blood scattered within the outermost layer of brain.

A person with a subdural hematoma compressing the brain is close to danger of suffering from permanent disability or cognitive deficiency, similar to disabilities caused by stroke and other disabling conditions, explained Biller. He added that a subdural hematoma is generated by head injuries that cause blood vessels between the surface of the brain, called arachnoid mater and the dura mater that envelopes the brain, to stretch and tear.

Subsequently, Biller referred the patient to another neurosurgeon in Loyola, Dr. Douglas Anderson, who specializes in performing emergency surgery. Dr. Anderson drained the hematoma by drilling two holes in the patient’s skull. The patient’s hematoma was about a couple of inches long and approximately one and a half inch thick. After the procedure, the patient made a full recovery.

Subdural hematomas are commonly caused by severe head injuries that cause internal bleeding, which quickly fill the brain area. Whereas, less severe head injuries can also cause subdural hematoma, but they might not show symptoms for several days or even weeks due to slow bleeding, Biller added.

If the condition of a patient becomes worse and ends up as permanent disability, a patient can be entitled for permanent disability benefits. However, under the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines, permanent disability is strictly defined in the context of total disability.

In simpler terms, a claimant or an applicant must be considered totally and undeniably disabled to receive benefits. In such case, it would be best to consult a Los Angeles permanent disability lawyer first before filing a claim, going further, and exerting too much effort for something uncertain.