This case involves a 9-year-old female who suffered a head injury while playing at school. The girl was running on the playground and hit her head on the metal beams of the swingset. She fell unconscious as a result of the impact and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Several days after returning home from the hospital, she fell while walking down the stairs in her house and became unconscious. The child suffered a variety of issues following the falls, including memory loss, lethargy, and motor issue. An expert in neurology was sought to conduct an independent medical examination and determine the extent of the child’s injuries and their long-term consequences.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. How often do you treat patients with traumatic brain injury?
- 2. What are the possible long-term sequelae of a traumatic brain injury?
Expert Witness Response E-036010
I am currently a full-time neurointensivist in a neuroscience ICU. I have experience treating patients with a full spectrum of TBIs from minor concussions to severe TBIs that require intubation, intracranial pressure monitors and critical care. As a headache specialist and the former director of a university headache center for many years, I often saw patients with chronic sequelae from head injuries ranging from mild concussions to severe hemorrhagic brain trauma. Long-term effects of mild, moderate and severe TBI include executive dysfunction, poor attention and decision-making skills, impulsivity, memory loss, personality change, emotional lability, psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety, sleep disorders and chronic head and neck pain. For this case, I am concerned about second impact syndrome, which can occur especially in young people who have a second head injury before full recovery from the first. I would be happy to perform an independent medical examination of this patient.