Many Americans take blood thinning medication for a multitude of reasons. These reasons range from limiting blood clots to heart problems and beyond. Indeed, blood thinners are incredibly useful and help many people deal with health problems they may have. However, that is not to say that blood thinners are not without their downsides.
Use of blood thinners, especially when they are not warranted, can have unfortunate side effects, among which are brain bleeds. A brain bleed is, as the name would suggest, internal bleeding in and around the brain. Without treatment, a brain bleed can result in serious injuries, including permanent brain damage and, in dire cases, death.
For a free case review, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras’ Baltimore brain injury lawyers at (410) 694-7291.
Brain Bleeds Explained
The term “brain bleed” generally refers to any bleeding in the brain or inside the cranium. However, there are further demarcations of brain bleeds that are important to medical professionals because they play out differently and may need to be treated in slightly different ways. Broadly speaking, brain bleeds are categorized by whether they occur within the skull but outside the brain tissue or within the brain tissue.
Bleeds Outside the Brain Tissue
Bleeds outside the brain are generally categorized by what membrane between the skull and brain they are located in. These brain bleeds are generally considered less severe than bleeds inside the actual brain tissue, but they are not laughing matter. Untreated, these bleeds can still result in severe damage to the brain and other medical conditions.
Bleeds Inside the Brain Tissue
Bleeds inside the brain tissue affect the brain itself. There are two main kinds of brain bleeds in this category. First, there are intracerebral bleeds, which happen in the lobes and cerebellum of the brain. Second, there are intraventricular hemorrhages, which occur in brain cavities where fluid is stored.
These kinds of hemorrhages can have serious effects. If a bleed happens near or in the brain, the brain cannot necessarily get enough oxygen to do all the jobs it needs to do. Once the brain starts getting deprived of enough oxygen, it is possible for permanent damage to be done.
In fact, if the brain is deprived of oxygen for just a few minutes, brain cells will start to die off. A lack of oxygen getting to the brain can result in something called cerebral hypoxia, which can result in memory loss, loss of basic motor skills, or, in severe cases, death.
Strokes are a common result of untreated brain bleeds. Other common results of brain bleeds include a blood clot entering the brain or an aneurysm, both of which can be fatal.
Can You Sue if a Blood Thinner Caused a Brain Bleed?
Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to file a lawsuit against a party that wronged you if you had a brain bleed because of a blood thinner.
The most likely kind of lawsuit you would file is a medical malpractice lawsuit. In a medical malpractice lawsuit, you allege that a medical professional did something negligent and that their negligence led to your present condition.
Medical malpractice lawsuits can be complicated, and you should discuss the prospect of filing one with our Baltimore medical lawyers if you are considering it. Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the reasons you might file a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a brain bleed caused by blood thinners.
Incorrectly Prescribed Medication
One of the most common reasons for a medical malpractice lawsuit based on a brain bleed is a doctor, physician, or other medical professional prescribing medication that is not warranted given the circumstances.
This could happen in a number of different ways. For example, if a doctor incorrectly diagnoses you with a condition that would warrant blood thinners, taking them may result in unintended side effects since you do not actually need the medication, up to and including brain bleeds.
Inversely, if you do need blood thinners but the medical professional incorrectly does not prescribe them to you, you could also sue if your condition worsens. Finally, if a doctor prescribes blood thinning medication that is not appropriate for your condition, because it is too potent or not strong enough, you may also have a claim.
Overuse of Medication
A brain bleed could also result if you use blood thinners for too long or under dangerous circumstances. For example, if you only need to be on blood thinners for three months but a doctor prescribes them for six, that could generate a claim. Alternatively, if you are going to imminently undergo surgery and continue to use blood thinners per a doctor’s orders, that could lead to injury and subsequently lead to a brain injury claim.
Incorrect Medication Given
Similar to how an incorrect prescription can result in a patient taking blood thinners when they are not needed, receiving the incorrect medication can also lead to serious problems. For example, suppose you have been prescribed a certain medication for a condition you have. You then go to a pharmacy and give the pharmacist your prescription, but the pharmacist gives you a blood thinner instead.
This could be very bad in a number of situations. If you do not need blood thinners and are given them, it could lead to serious complications like brain bleeds. Alternatively, if you are prescribed one kind of blood thinner but are given another, that could also result in a bad reaction or overly potent effects from the wrong kind of blood thinner.
Talk to Our Brain Injury Lawyers Today
Rice, Murtha & Psoras’s Maryland personal injury lawyers are ready to help you with your case when you call (410) 694-7291.