Hepatic encephalopathy is a type of brain damage that occurs because of problems with the liver. Liver failure or liver disease can affect the filtering ability of the body, and the toxins usually filtered by the body can impact the brain. You could suffer an acquired brain injury as a result.
Hepatic encephalopathy can be a temporary decline in brain function, or it can cause a permanent brain injury and serious impairments. The best way to avoid long-term damage is to see a doctor as soon as possible if you experience the symptoms of hepatic encephalopathy.
How Does Hepatic Encephalopathy Cause ABIs?
Hepatic encephalopathy is a temporary or permanent decline in brain function. It occurs in people who suffer from advanced liver disease, liver failure, or other major liver problem. When the liver does not filter the blood properly, toxins build up in the bloodstream. These toxins can affect brain functioning, even causing permanent brain injuries. Hepatic encephalopathy can be acute or chronic.
Acute Hepatic Encephalopathy
In general, hepatic encephalopathy is episodic. When it is acute, it can still cause significant impairments or even cause the person to slip into unconsciousness. However, most cases are reversible with prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Chronic Hepatic Encephalopathy
Those with liver failure, severe cirrhosis, or other significant liver problems may develop chronic hepatic encephalopathy. Chronic hepatic encephalopathy presents as regular episodes of decreased brain functioning.
An accurate diagnosis is vital. Those with chronic hepatic encephalopathy usually need to undergo regular treatments to prevent future recurrences. For most people, this is effective at preventing the majority of episodes and helps stop further damage to the brain. Occasionally, treatment is not effective, and a person may continue to suffer a decrease in brain functioning because of the build-up of toxins in the brain.
Symptoms of a Hepatic Encephalopathy Brain Injury
Because there are many reasons a liver can stop functioning entirely, the signs of hepatic encephalopathy may differ based on the initial problem. Those who have hepatic encephalopathy may suffer from:
- Issues with clear thinking
- Lack of concentration and focus
- Personality and emotional changes
- Problems with handwriting or other similar motor skills
- Dazed feelings and confusion
- Short term memory issues
- Changes in judgment or ability
- Drowsiness, fatigue, and lethargy
- Anxiety and stress
- Problems with speech, confused speech
- Shaky hands and tremors
- Slowed movements and reaction time
- Loss of consciousness and coma
If you have liver disease, liver failure, or another issue with your liver, and you suffer from any of these symptoms, you may have hepatic encephalopathy. You must seek medical help right away to prevent further disruptions in brain function and limit potential permanent damage.
Recovering After Hepatic Encephalopathy and ABI
Hepatic encephalitis can cause widespread, permanent brain injuries or temporary issues that go away with treatment of your liver failure. When the decline in brain function is permanent, you may recover some of the abilities you lost through rehabilitation and therapy, but much of your treatment may focus on learning to live with your impairments. You may need a variety of therapies to regain strength and relearn how to care for yourself which may include:
- Physical therapy
- Cognitive therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
Some patients require inpatient rehabilitation while others attend therapy on an outpatient basis. Many people suffer long-term impairments after a significant brain injury caused by encephalopathy. The best way to avoid moderate and severe brain injuries is to get a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible after symptoms begin to limit possible brain damage.
Recovering Compensation for a Hepatic Encephalopathy ABI
Without a quick and accurate diagnosis, it is impossible to get the treatment you need to limit the brain damage caused by hepatic encephalopathy. If you or a member of your family suffered an ABI after a delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice claim against the doctor or hospital.
Let the personal injury attorneys from Pintas & Mullins review your case, fight to protect your rights, and pursue the compensation you deserve. Our case reviews are free, and we have more than 20 years of experience navigating ABI cases for our clients. We know what it takes to negotiate a settlement or win your case.
Call our team today to get started. You can reach someone 24 hours a day at 1-866-611-BASC.