Posted July 13, 2020
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the average hospitalization rate of COVID-19 patients was 4.6 per 100,000 population. Of those hospitalized, the highest rates were among those over age 65, who also had underlying health conditions such as obesity, hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular disease. However, new studies are emerging suggesting that brain injuries are more likely to occur in those coronavirus patients who receive hospital care.
Brain Injury and Coronavirus: Personal Injury
In a study by the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, blood tests were taken from COVID-19 patients who experienced mild, moderate, and severe coronavirus. Of those samples taken, in severe cases of COVID-19, there were clinical and neurochemical signs of brain injury. In moderate cases, lab results showed that brain damage would also be possible.
The brain injury marker present in these patients was GFAP or glial fibrillary acidic protein. Often, this marker will appear in the brain when an astrocytic injury or overactivation occurs. The second biomarker found was NfL, neurofilament light chain protein. This protein is used to stabilize neuronal outgrowths. However, when damage occurs, it leaks into the blood. Commonly, this protein was found in those who required ventilation and rose as the severity of illness increased.
Right now, scientists are reviewing these cases to see if the virus of the immune system is causing potential brain injuries. Because of the newness of the condition and the studies, more research is required.
For now, hospitals and physicians are tasked with monitoring these levels to reduce the risk of brain injury in those with moderate and severe COVID-19.
But, if you or a loved one has experienced brain injury following hospitalization for COVID-19, do you have a right to legal protection?
Can I sue if I become sicker or injured while in hospital care following a COVID-19 diagnosis?
In order to pursue a personal injury case resulting from COVID-19 care while in a hospital, you will need to prove that:
- There was a violation of the standard of care.
- An injury was caused by this negligence.
- The injury resulted in significant damages.
However, some states have utilized immunity laws for care facilities to limit the number of lawsuits. While this may make a case harder to pursue, it is not impossible.
Many cases are being filed not based on the care given or not given, but rather:
- Lack of preparedness by the facilities.
- Failure to diagnose the primary condition and any secondary complications.
- A lack of treatment options available due to the lack of preparedness.
- Exposure within facilities where necessary precautions were not taken.
However, now that studies are emerging surrounding the potential of brain injury in COVID-19 patients, do not hesitate to question the care that was taken. Contact a COVID-19 personal injury attorney if you are unsure if you have a valid case.
Personal Injury & Brain Damage Resulting From COVID-19
Contracting COVID-19 is scary enough. But when a step is missed or tests aren’t given to show the potential of brain injury or further organ damage that may occur, you may have a case.
If you are in need of legal assistance relating to personal injury incidents or medical malpractice claims, contact us today. We have personal injury attorneys all over the nation waiting to take your case.