As a solicitor who specialises in child brain injury claims, I was very interested to learn about new research that established a link between traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and attention problems in children.
Scientists have known for a while that, in both adults and children, attention problems can develop after a TBI. The new study shows that children with a TBI are much more prone to lapses in attention than children who have sustained injuries to other parts of the body.
A scientific research team led by Marsh Konigs of Amsterdam University compared a group of children who had suffered a traumatic brain injury with a group who had sustained non-head trauma. They found that attention issues, such as anxiety and aggression, were higher in the TBI group, who also displayed slower reaction times than the children who had sustained a non-head trauma.
As expected, the more serious attention problems were found in children with moderate to severe TBI – i.e. they had lost consciousness for more than 30 minutes and had post-traumatic amnesia for at least an hour following the injury.
Mr Konigs said that because the attention problems persisted more than a year after the injury, it is unlikely that they will resolve themselves over time.
According to the Child Brain Injury Trust, a child or young person will acquire a brain injury every 30 minutes.
Brain injuries can have a devastating effect on the lives of young children and their families. Slater and Gordon have previously blogged on the importance of early rehabilitation in helping to improve the recovery prospects for young brain injury sufferers.
Although we can’t be sure what effect rehabilitation would have had for the children with moderate to severe TBI in Mr Konigs' study, we have seen many cases at Slater and Gordon where brain injury rehabilitation has helped brain-injured children to maximise their recovery.
By bringing a claim for compensation on behalf of an injured child, a parent can ensure that their child will have the best access to rehabilitation at an early stage (whether this is funded by an interim payment or under the Rehabilitation Code). As a result, the injured child has the facility to maximise their potential recovery as quickly as possible.
Angela Beric is a Senior Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers UK, specialising in brain injury claims for children.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers offer a free consultation about claiming compensation for a brain injury and offer hospital visits for anyone unable to attend one of our offices.
Immediate legal representation and rehabilitation support are available from anywhere in the UK.
For a free consultation, call us 24/7 on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.