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What Is Cerebral Edema?Cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain, can occur after someone experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Brain injuries can happen when the head suffers a blow or hit, a sudden acceleration or stop, or any other type of force injuring the brain. Typically, we see brain injuries and cerebral edema as a result of car crashes and other similar accidents.

After a head injury, your brain can begin to swell, which increases the pressure inside your skull (called intracranial pressure). This pressure restricts blood flow to your brain, causing a drop in the oxygen levels the brain needs to function properly. This loss of oxygen can lead to brain damage and, ultimately, loss of life.

What causes swelling of the brain?

Cerebral edema can happen any time the head suffers an injury, like in a car accident, slip and fall, or birth injury. A patient can also suffer brain swelling as a result of an ischemic stroke or brain hemorrhage.

When the head is subjected to an external force, excessive fluid can accumulate inside the brain. Unlike other injuries to the body, where there is room for excess swelling (think sprained ankle), the brain is encased in the hard skull and cannot expand.

Symptoms of brain swell include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Neck pain
  • Vision loss
  • Confusion
  • Loss of coordination
  • Seizures
  • Coma

What is the treatment for cerebral edema?

The treatment for cerebral edema depends on the severity of the injury. Treatment can range from giving the patient IV fluids and oxygen for minor injuries, to performing craniotomy surgery for severe cases. In a craniotomy, a surgeon vents or ports the skull to relieve the pressure inside.

You can reduce your own risk of cerebral edema and TBIs by always wearing your seatbelt, motorcycle helmet, and taking extra care on stairs or slippery areas. However, you can’t prevent the negligence of another.

Victims of cerebral edema resulting from another’s negligence or carelessness may be eligible for compensation. These types of brain injuries require prompt and skilled medical treatment that can last months, years, or a lifetime.

The skilled brain injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP can help if you or a loved one experienced a cerebral edema. When your injuries come from an accident that wasn’t your fault, you deserve compensation for your damages and losses. Schedule a consultation at 404-961-7650 at our Atlanta office, or in our Savannah office at 912-651-9967, or fill out our contact form.



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