Head Injuries In The Elderly

On this site, head injuries are discussed, given that various types of head injuries (including concussions and traumatic brain injuries) can happen to the elderly, especially as a result of tripping and falling.  However, there are other instances in which head injuries can occur in the elderly, including those that occur at nursing homes and other types of long-term health care facilities.

There are various types of head injuries.  Generally speaking, head injuries are classified into “closed head injuries” and “open (penetrating) head injuries.”  Definitions of each, as seen on the MedlinePlus (U.S. National Library Of Medicine) page titled “Head injury – first aid” page:

  • A closed head injury means you received a hard blow to the head from striking an object, but the object did not break the skull.
  • An open, or penetrating, head injury means you were hit with an object that broke the skull and entered the brain. This is more likely to happen when you move at high speed, such as going through the windshield during a car accident. It can also happen from a gunshot to the head.

There are various types of injuries that result from blows to the head and other forms of head trauma.  Injuries can include scalp wounds, head lacerations, concussions, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI).  One can also have hematoma, hemorrhage, and edema stemming from a head impact.  According to the MedlinePlus page mentioned above, concussions are the most common type of traumatic brain injury.

As discussed in various medical information resources, the severity of any particular head injury may be difficult to (self) assess.  This is because symptoms of head injuries can take a while to manifest (i.e. be made apparent.)  As seen on the Medline Plus page:

Symptoms of a head injury can occur right away. Or symptoms develop slowly over several hours or days. Even if the skull is not fractured, the brain can hit the inside of the skull and be bruised. The head may look fine, but problems could result from bleeding or swelling inside the skull.

The Medline Plus page also has recommendations as to what to do and what not to do with regard to administering first aid to someone who has suffered a head injury.  Due to the complexity of a head injury – and the aforementioned aspect that symptoms of head trauma may take a while to manifest – it is prudent to immediately seek a medical evaluation by a health professional in such instances.

Such medical professionals will be able to assess the type of head injury one has suffered and its severity, as well as recommend further medical treatment or types of rehabilitation measures.

Of course, preventing head injuries is of paramount importance.  While – due to the many ways in which one can receive a substantial head impact – it is difficult to outline comprehensive prevention measures, common preventative measures include measures to prevent trips and falls among the elderly.

If you or someone that you care for has suffered a head injury due to the fault and/or negligence of another person or party, the injured person is likely eligible to receive compensation for the accident injury and other forms of harm that have occurred.  Due to the nature of head injuries, such compensation is likely to be needed in order to pay for current and future medical costs and a variety of other costs (including foregone income) that an injured person may incur.

Speaking with a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as possible is recommended, as there are steps one should take to safeguard one’s legal rights and maximize the potential for monetary recovery.

Should you be injured in an Illinois accident, call Tony Elman at (773) 392-8182 to discuss the accident and see what legal actions should be undertaken.  This legal consultation is provided free and is confidential in nature.

Elman Law Group, LLC handles cases on a contingency basis…you will not be charged legal fees unless and until there is a monetary recovery.

Elman Law Group has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for over 20 years.  During this time, we have handled over 10,000 Illinois personal injury lawsuits, and we have established a reputation for our court trial performance.  This performance has proven valuable to our clients.

Additional brain injury resources:

Brainline.org “Traumatic Brain Injury Basics

Healthline “Head Injury” page