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Geriatric Head Injuries: What You Need to Know

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the leading cause of injuries among seniors in this country. Falls can cause many serious injuries, including fractures and broken hips. One of the most devastating injuries seniors can suffer is a traumatic brain injury.


If you’re over 65 and have suffered a fall or head injury, contact Flaxman Law Group. We’re a boutique law firm with a father-son attorney team in our Miami, Hollywood, and Homestead offices. We’re also a multi-generational office and we always treat our clients like family.

How Are Geriatric Head Injuries Different?

A traumatic head injury from a fall happens the same way in patients of any age. When a person’s head hits the ground, the impact causes their brain to shake and crash against the interior of the skull. When this happens, brain tissue can get damaged by the impact. Parts of the brain can bleed and bruise.

With older adults, however, there are also a few additional risk factors:

  • Older patients may suffer from conditions such as osteoporosis, which can mean more brittle bones and a greater risk of the skull cracking or fracturing.
  • Senior patients with mobility issues may not be easily able to stop their fall or take steps to lessen the impact, making their injuries worse than those of someone who is more agile.
  • Older patients may be taking medications such as blood thinners or anticoagulants, which can heighten the risk of intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding inside the brain.
  • Older patients with traumatic brain injuries have a statistically higher rate of fatalities and emergency room admissions compared to younger patients with the same type of injury.
  • The Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS), which uses eye movement, speech, and movement to assess the severity of a traumatic brain injury in some cases is considered less accurate with senior patients.
  • Senior patients may be taking medication which can interact with treatment and medication for a brain injury.
  • Older patients who are at risk of falls have the added risk of suffering a second fall before their brain injury is healed, which can lead to more severe symptoms and complications.
  • Senior patients may have pre-existing conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions which can complicate treatment and can make recovery times longer.

A considerable risk with older patients, according to experts, is the risk of delayed intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). This type of brain bleed can affect multiple areas of the brain and can also occur some time after the initial injury. So, a senior may fall and feel fine. Their medical evaluation may even show nothing. However, after 48 hours or even after several weeks, they may develop symptoms and life-threatening ICH.

Senior Head Injuries: What To Do

Whether you’ve been in a car accident or have fallen down, if you’re over 65 it’s important to get a full medical evaluation, even if you’re not sure you’ve hit your head. Prompt medical evaluation can diagnose fractures, soft tissue injury, traumatic brain injury, and other injuries so you can get started on treatment right away.

You may also want to consult with a head injury attorney in South Florida if you’re injured. You may need extra help and personal support after your fall or accident and your medical bills may be high. An experienced attorney can help you seek any compensation you may be eligible for so you can cover those costs.

To speak to a South Florida attorney, call Flaxman Law Group at 866-352-9626. We can set up a consultation with a member of our law firm. You can meet in our offices in Miami, Homestead, or Hollywood or we may be able to travel to your home or hospital room if you’re too injured to travel. As a family-based law firm, we believe in compassionate and honest legal representation.

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