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Action for brain injury week - where to turn

Brain scan images - brain injury week
11th May 2016

Every year, leading UK brain charity Headway organises Action for Brain Injury Week to raise awareness of the devastating effects of Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). This year it takes place from May 9th-15th.

According to Headway, the NHS saw over 348,000 ABI hospital admissions in 2013/14 – equating to one new admission almost every 90 seconds.

Below you’ll find an overview of the possible causes and consequences of a brain injury, why quick diagnosis and treatment are vital, and what help is available should you or a loved one find yourself affected by an ABI.

Causes of brain injury

An Acquired Brain Injury can be linked to a number of factors:

  • Physical head injuries
  • Poisoning from alcohol or drug abuse
  • Infections and diseases such as Meningitis, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis or cancer
  • Lack of oxygen, from suffocation or drowning, or complications during surgery
  • Strokes

Symptoms can range from light dizziness, headaches or feelings of nausea to severe speech, motor and cognition difficulties. Quickly establishing the cause, severity and symptoms of brain injury is vital in ensuring the highest chances of recovery.

The importance of speed in diagnosis and treatment

Sometimes mild symptoms can be misinterpreted.

A persistent headache might be brushed off as fatigue or stress. If there is any possibility of a link to a physical blow to the head, or other serious events, medical help should be sought as quickly as possible, and the individual kept under observation.

Speed of diagnosis and treatment can have a profound impact on recovery chances. Rapid treatment can mean the difference between being able to return to normality or having to face life-changing consequences.

With the stakes so high, it’s all the more tragic that cases still occur where avoidable delays can have such a significant impact.

Most of the time injuries are handled quickly and expertly, but in some cases avoidable delays in diagnosis and treatment result in the opposite. The longer treatment takes, the greater the potential for severe brain damage, or even fatality.

Life with an Acquired Brain Injury

The brain is an incredibly adaptable organ. With the right support and treatment, recovery and a return to normal life is often possible thanks to the care and expertise of medical staff.

For others, the consequences of Acquired Brain Injury are more severe, affecting not just the individual but their family and loved ones, bringing distress, worry, fear and the need to rapidly adapt to a new way of life.

Sometimes the victim may feel isolated by their symptoms, or see themselves as a burden on loved ones. There may also be difficulties in securing social care when full time work is no longer an option and a key source of family income is gone.

A loved one’s death or incapacitation can incur huge physical and emotional tolls, especially where this is the result of negligence or a delay in treatment.

Finding help

In the face of a life-changing injury, it’s entirely natural to be left with feelings of confusion, fear, grief, depression or anger and resentment. But it’s important to know that help exists.

Headway is just one of the charities that support those affected by an Acquired Brain Injury – organisations such as the Child Brain Injury Trust and the Brain and Spinal Injury Centre also offer resources for sufferers and their families.

The tolls of long term care for a loved one who will never recover cannot be calculated.

But where the cause or circumstances leading to injury were avoidable, legal help is available to overcome many of the financial costs.

Your Legal Friend possesses over 30 years’ experience in helping people identify a potential route to redress. We’ll talk you through your situation and the options open to you, as well as commit to working with you every step of the way should you pursue a claim.

Our priority is helping you and your family’s wider interests, getting you back as close to normality as possible. Call one of our expert team on