The risks of brain injuries to the elderly
Accidental falls and the accompanying brain trauma from head injuries are some of the most serious dangers posed to geriatric individuals in Pennsylvania. One of the largest subcategories of traumatic brain injuries, the acute subdural hematoma, is usually treated by surgical intervention. However, as elderly patients who have received these injuries have usually been considered poor candidates for surgical treatment, this intervention is often withheld. Recently a study was conducted in Finland that gives hope of recovery among certain categories of patients aged 75 or older, which indicates that surgery may be worth while for them.
The age of the person suffering an acute subdural hematoma has long been considered a primary predictor of treatment success. Older people were considered to be so unlikely to survive that surgery was not seen as worthwhile. Now researchers in Helsinki have determined that there are significant factors besides age alone.
The statistics were chilling for certain categories of patients at or over age 75. No aged sufferer of an acute subdural hematoma who arrived at the hospital unconscious from their brain injury was found to still be alive a year after the study began. Similarly, no elderly patient who had already lost their independence before the accident or who used oral anticoagulant medication would survive for longer than a year. However, for all other older patients, recovery appeared to be quite possible.
Based on the latest information, it seems unreasonable to intervene surgically with elderly subdural hematoma patients that fit the riskier profiles. This means that any brain trauma to such people has the potential to be extremely harmful. A person who has received such an injury due to the negligence of another party, such as a fall caused by a slippery floor in a grocery store or a car accident caused by a negligent driver, may want to speak with a personal injury attorney to determine the recourse that may be available for seeking compensation.
Source: Medical Xpress, “Even the elderly can recover from a severe traumatic brain injury”, 11/27/2015