Experiencing a life-changing, traumatic event such as a brain injury can be difficult to recover from, both mentally and physically. But when you have a brain injury that has been misdiagnosed or undetected, the toll on your health and finances can be even worse. But you do have options to move forward if this has happened to you.
How common is brain injury misdiagnosis?
In the UK, someone is admitted to hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds. This is a great number of patients that doctors must assess daily. Unfortunately, some do get misdiagnosed when they have a brain injury.
However, statistics show that over recent years more people are getting admitted with head or brain injuries which could mean that they are getting diagnosed more efficiently.
Why do traumatic brain injuries often get misdiagnosed or undetected?
Traumatic brain injuries present in many different and varied ways with symptoms that can often be attributed to other illnesses.
Brain injuries that are considered mild may present with symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and nausea. All of these are common symptoms of a lot of different illnesses so they can easily be confused with something else.
Sometimes a brain injury can be confused with a mental illness. Sleeping more than usual, feeling irritable and feelings of depression can all be symptoms of a brain injury, but they are also diagnostic indicators of a mental health condition such as depression or bipolar disorder.
It can be hard to diagnose a brain injury as the symptoms are not immediately apparent. The patient may leave the hospital appearing absolutely fine but there could be more going on in their head. This is why it is important to conduct tests to rule out a brain injury when there is a possibility of a knock to the head.
What can you do if you were misdiagnosed?
Your first step if you have been misdiagnosed or undiagnosed in relation to a brain injury is to contact solicitors who are experts in dealing with brain injury claims. They will be able to help you with claiming any compensation you need for ongoing care, treatments and living expenses. This will depend on the severity of your brain injury but they will guide you through the process with compassion and care.
There are also charities you can turn to if you need further support. Organisations such as Headway have a plethora of resources for you and your loved ones to use to help manage your injury.
Finally, it is important that you take care of your mental health surrounding this as well. Just having a brain injury can bring on some overwhelming feelings, so ensuring you are able to talk to someone, either a professional or a loved one, is key to helping you adjust. Some traumatic brain injuries occur as the result of a violent situation so it is important that you get some support with how to process this.