Disorders of Consciousness
A disorder of consciousness is the name given to a condition where the consciousness of the sufferer is affected by an injury to their brain. Although some of these injuries might include natural causes such as a haemorrhage or an aneurism, others can be the result of a traumatic injury such as a car accident.
In the case that a person has been diagnosed with a disorder of consciousness as the result of an accident which they did not cause, or which was the result of the action, lack of action or negligence of another person, then the sufferer (or their next of kin) may have the right to make a compensation claim in Stoke-on-Trent.
Defining Disorders of Consciousness
Although we often characterise consciousness as our normal behaviour, such as walking, talking, performing tasks, and being able to follow instructions, in medical terms consciousness and the disorders thereof have a number of different meanings.
Disorders of consciousness may fall into a number of states, which may include:
- Coma – the sufferer has neither wakefulness or awareness;
- Vegetative state – the sufferer is awake but shows no signs of awareness; or
- Minimally conscious state – there is a clear sign of awareness, but this is heavily reduced or sporadic.
Causes of the Disorders
Disorders of consciousness often occur as the result of a traumatic injury such as a car accident, a fall or a significant head injury (such as a heavy impact).
Making a Diagnosis
In order to diagnose a disorder of consciousness and provide a prognosis, the sufferer will need to be thoroughly examined and undergo extensive testing by a specialist doctor. Many of these disorders have a recommended criteria which can not only assist with diagnosis, but can also provide some guidelines for treatment of the patient.
Treatment and Care
Sadly, many disorders of consciousness are permanent states and there is little treatment which could lead to a cure. However, many treatments can aid in supporting the patient, improving their symptoms. In some small cases, sufferers have been known to make natural recoveries. These treatments might include:
- Regular movement to prevent pressure sores and to aid muscle development; and
- Stimulus of the senses, such as music.
Making a Compensation Claim in Stoke-on-Trent
A disorder of consciousness would severely affect both the sufferer and their family. It’s likely that the person would require extensive and prolonged private healthcare.
In the case that the injuries were caused by another person’s actions, a compensation claim in Stoke-on-Trent may be made. This compensation claim in Stoke-on-Trent could provide financial support for the family of the person affected, helping to pay bills, provide support with loss of earnings and come to terms with the situation.
Accident Advice Helpline have over 15 years’ experience in helping with compensation claims. Our 30-second test could quickly assess the validity of a claim and we could provide valuable support as you make your claim. Call us today on 0800 689 0500.