“Family First” Campaign Launched To Fight Brain Injuries

The National Lottery has begun funding a brand new campaign, designed to help families living with children suffering from acquired brain injuries. Championed in Northern Ireland to support 50 families and even more children, the scheme could benefit the rest of the UK in the future,  if and when it is rolled out further.

Brain Injury campaign funded by national lottery

Five Year Plan

Family First is one of five projects launched at once, with an overall fund of £3.3 million going towards good causes. Living with acquired brain injury can be a full time job for families when the injury involved one of their children. Charities, along with existing government funding, can help alleviate some of the pressure on those families, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

The £700,000 scheme, which is set to run over five  years, is initially being launched in Northern Ireland. It is hoped that the scheme will help around 50 families to provide a good level of care and a happy life for their affected children, as well as assist the families also.

As the Family First scheme is lottery funded, it is hoped that the scheme may be rolled out further, across the UK in the future, especially if the pilot and initial £700,000 investment, proves to be a useful injection into the care of those in need.

What lottery funding does for us

1,000 Potential Beneficiaries

Up to 1,000 children are set to be helped in some way, as part of the funding, as they receive valuable support wtih care costs, advice, counselling and medical assistance.

The mother of one child involved was full of praise for the scheme and funding, stating “Family First has been so fantastic. You feel they really understand what it’s like for you and they’ll go the extra mile to provide support. It’s made such a difference. I can’t thank them enough.”

The Chief Executive of prominent brain injury charity “Brain Injury Matters” Fiona McCabe, commented on the toll that an acquired brain injury can take on affected families, saying:

Families need the right support as without it they can fall apart. Parents may feel guilt and blame themselves for their child’s brain injury. Because there is understandably focus on the child with the acquired brain injury, their brother and sisters may feel confused and excluded. All this puts pressure on the family unit and can make the child’s rehabilitation all the more difficult.”

The new scheme will help alleviate a lot of that pressure on connected family members and help keep the lives of all affected as positive as possible. For more on acquired brain injuries and their effects, take a look at what we can do for acquired brain injury victims when they are caused by serious negligence.

Sincere Law specialises in brain injury assistance from acquired to traumatic, axial to diffuse. These injuries often require extensive assistance over a long time (something we are experienced in providing). For more news on developments for brain injury suffers and the serious injury sector, visit our blog.

 

Brain Injuries Cost UK £15 Billion Per Year

Research by the Centre for Mental Health recently revealed that traumatic brain injuries (TBI) will cost the UK up to £15 billion per year (not including other brain injury types). With that figure so high, is it worth placing more research into dealing with traumatic brain injury in the short term?

Serious brain injury claims

TBI & the Justice System

One of the biggest dangers facing those with traumatic brain injury is the possibility of coming into contact with the justice system. Up to 60% of offenders have suffered TBI before they were arrested. This statistic strengthens the link between brain injuries and criminal activity. While this link is more prominent in children with traumatic injuries heading into adulthood, it can still affect an adult mind.

Of course, not all traumatic brain injuries would cause a person to commit crime, but the impairment one causes to somebody can often affect judgement and emotions. When this happens and a sufferer finds their judgement affected, the cost of taking care of them can spiral. This is because they could require assistance from a designated carer, or may suffer cognitive problems, meaning that they can no longer work. For anybody who suffers a traumatic brain injury and commits a criminal offence, it can be a difficult task to educate them on why their behaviour is not appropriate.

Regardless of whether a traumatic injury sufferer offends as a result of impaired judgement or not, the effect of a “mild” or “severe” traumatic brain injury can lead to challenging consequences on their family when it comes to taking care of them in the future. These tend to be even worse if the person suffers the injury early on in life.

 

 

Lifetime Care

Research has suggested that a traumatic brain injury can have several very negative effects on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. These may all require some form of aid to adapt to and live with.

Statistics show a traumatic brain injury can:

  • Double risk of mental illness development
  • Increase risk of earlier death
  • Increase risk of future offending

The cost of care in the UK for traumatic brain injuries is staggering. Each year around 160,000 people are admitted to hospital with traumatic brain injuries. 1.3 million people who suffer from traumatic brain injuries, live with disabilities as a result. Overall these cost £15 billion to help assist and treat the victim. A large proportion of those affected are children, whose bodies are not fully developed and so run a much higher risk of severe damage when struck in the skull. Should a child suffer a traumatic brain injury, the chances are they will require some level of care or assistance throughout life.

 

Strong Support

Numerous charities are available to help deal with the deficit in funding by the government. Some of the front runners for this include Headway, BASIC and the National Brain Appeal. Charity work forms a large base of support and care for victims and families. However, when an injury does occur, a family may often need support further than what is available through charity funding or via national services. This is where the victim of a traumatic brain injury whose injury was caused by somebody else’ negligence, can seek the help of a solicitor such as ourselves.

When we take on cases for serious injuries, such as a traumatic brain injury, we prioritise the victim’s care. To do this we form what is known as a “crisis team”, which is made up of people who specialise in the treatment of the injury suffered.

Once our crisis team is formed, we are able to plan and carry out a course of treatment and support for as long as required, with the prime focus being to provide them with the best quality of life possible within their circumstances. This includes providing them with the opportunity to get an education, enjoy leisure time and, where possible, to develop skills that will help them into employment..

If somebody close to you has experienced a traumatic brain injury or a head injury of any kind then you can talk to one of our team in confidentiality to find out more about what help and support is available to you.

We are contactable on 0800 092 2896 every week day or if you prefer we have a contact form you can fill in here.

 

New Portable Ultrasound Scanners Could Save Lives

Undiagnosed bleeding from brain injuries can prove fatal. This is particularly noteworthy in warzones as bleeding internally in the head isn’t easily identifiable. Thanks to new developments in ultra sound technology however, there could be a path to early diagnosis.

Conventional Scanning

The problem with existing ultrasound scanners is that they produce a 2D model. This is most commonly used for baby scan images. Ultrasound works by projecting sound onto the human body and reading the bounce back, putting an image to the sound waves.

Other alternatives for better picture quality include CT or MRI scanners. In cases of emergency, where treatment needs to be quick, including as before, on a battlefield, then these devices become unfeasible. CT and MRI scanners are normally bulky and in some cases are so big they require a dedicated transport to house them.

How conventional ultrasound works

 

The new ultrasound scanners are a portable version the size of a laptop, able to create a 3D image of the brain and instantly send the data via the internet to a specialist. It allows remote diagnosis and a quick way of identifying bleeding. It also means that if an expert is not present at the scene, there is always one available online to look at the scans.

 

Long Term Gain

With the ability to quickly diagnose bleeding in the brain, there is the possibility to prevent haemorrhages. In remote locations without an expert who can spot the bleeding on scans this can be the difference between receiving the correct treatment fast and long term brain damage.

This is also beneficial for patients coming into A&E after suffering a stroke. If bleeding is not spotted early and is left untreated it can lead to further damage when the patient would preferably require rushing to A&E. Bleeding in the brain is not always recognizable without due training and experience; in the past patients may not have been identified as suffering this and risked long term damage or even death if untreated.

new portable ultrasound designed to assist with finding brain bleeding injuries being tested

Sincere Law Catastrophic Injury Partner Chris Walker saw the potential in the scanners and was very pleased to see the ongoing development reach testing. Of the scanners he said:

“Undiagnosed bleeding inside a brain can devastate a person in the long term and so having the ability to clearly identify this in a patient, even when a specialist doctor isn’t on hand at the scene, is a big step towards reducing catastrophic brain injuries. We hope to see continual testing and eventual rollout of these devices in our armed forces and A&E too”.

 

Saving Lives

There is no doubt that the ability to quickly scan a brain for internal bleeding and send the results remotely can save lives going forward. The biggest question is how quickly can the portable scanners be thoroughly tested and rolled out for general use? Unfortunately at this point there is no set timeline but the testing is a large step towards that goal.

In the majority of brain injury cases taken by Sincere Law relating to internal bleeding, the longer a patient is left to be diagnosed; whether that is simply waiting at a hospital or waiting for a specialist to identify the symptoms; the more damaging the long term effects. A brain injury also affects the family of a victim just as much. They often involve complications including affected motor functions, restricted learning capacity or general brain functionality problems.

Steps towards reducing the amount prolonged brain bleeding sufferers are being made every day. In time we hope that those operating in our armed forces and those in need of quick assistance in our hospitals have access to the new ultrasound scanners.

 

New technology to tackle head injuries in sport

A brand new device labelled the “Q-Collar” has been designed and tested using two studies in the United States. The device, which is placed inside a sports helmet, aims to reduce concussion injuries by manipulating blood flow to the brain.

 

Energy absorption

The Q-Collar works very simply by being placed inside a helmet allowing it to gently press on the jugular vein of an athlete. The pressure on the vein then allows a slow outflow of blood, keeping blood volume in the brain. When involved in a contact sport, your brain can be at risk to aggravated injuries from knocks to the head. The collar is designed so the higher blood volume in the brain can pad out and protect it during sport.

The tests carried out in America involved two heavy contact sports that required helmets (American football and hockey). The studies, which took place in Cincinnati, measured the flow of blood and activity of both athletes that wore the collar (half), and athletes that didn’t. The results indicated that those athletes who took part without the collar suffered a “disruption of their microstructure and functional performance of the brain”.

Serious Injury prevention in sports with new v collar

English Applications

The Q collar may well have future applications in more than the sports tested if further research shows the device to greatly assist with the prevention of injury. While American football and hockey are considered niche sports in the UK, other more popular sports that require a helmet may benefit from widespread use. Other applications which could see the Q collar used include:

  • Cricket
  • Cycling
  • Motorsports
  • Bobsledding
  • Equestrian Sports
  • Baseball
  • Extreme Sports
  • Skiing

Sincere Law’s Catastrophic Injury Partner Chris Walker has praised the research as an “exciting development” in the protection of athletes. “There have been positive advances in dealing with sports related head injuries in the past few years. It’s vitally important we protect everyone from brain injury as the long term effects can be devastating; particularly so for those who aren’t backed by guaranteed contracts and access to the best therapy.”

v collar designed to prevent serious injury in sport

As solicitors who specialise in serious and catastrophic injury, Sincere Law has helped victims of severe head injury in sport in the past and know that the road to recovery can be a hard one, not just for the victim themselves, but for their families as well.

Given the limited access to therapy that amateur sportsmen and sportswomen have, when compared to the professionals, the introduction of technology, such as the Q Collar, could go a long way to help prevent serious head injuries to competitors.

 

New Rules for Head Injury Set to be Introduced to Football

The Premier League has finally introduced new rules to enforce the protection of footballers who have suffered a head injury during a game.

Whereas before the decision on whether the affected player could continue to participate was down to the team’s management, from this season moving forward the decision will rely solely on the judgement of a doctor.

Over the past decade the frequencies of head injury throughout football has increased and last year there was wide scale controversy over the health and safety of the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who was allowed to continue to play despite suffering a suspected concussion during the match.

A spokesman for serious injury specialist solicitors, Sincere Law, welcomed the move, saying: “These regulations are long overdue, not just in football but for all sports and it is great to see the Premier League are finally taking head injury seriously.”

“On many occasions in recent seasons we have seen instances where an affected player has clearly been left disorientated and it has simply not been acceptable to take the attitude that it is only a knock or it is part of the game.”

The introduction of the new rules has also been welcomed by the brain charity, Headway, who said: “It is an important step forward in the protection of footballers at all levels, especially grass roots. It’s vitally important we lose this culture where it’s brave and courageous to play on. Concussion is an evolving injury with symptoms that may take time to manifest, and if you don’t get properly assessed, it may be too late.”

The new measures that will now be taken where a suspected concussion has occurred include:

  • Player suffering a heavy injury must leave the pitch
  • Team managers will no longer decide if a player can continue to play
  • The club doctor is now responsible for the final decision
  • There must be a third doctor in the tunnel, to be provided by the home team, who will serve as an observer to spot any potential concussions that may occur during the game and will use TV replays to assess the severity.
  • There will be an awareness campaign to ensure all players and managers understand the dangers of head injuries.
  • Players in the Premier League will be subject to baseline neurological assessments each year so that doctors can measure recovery time if they suffer concussion.

If you have suffered a head injury as a result of the negligence of another person, then you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation, whether it has happened at work, on the road or in your leisure time.

For more information on making a head injury compensation claim fill out our contact form or call us on 0800 092 2896.