What Are the Main Types of Brain Injuries?
How Do Brain Injuries Occur?
The brain is an amazing yet fragile organ that is the command center of the body. The skull protects the brain from minor daily mishaps, but more severe incidents such as car crashes, falls, explosions, and sports injuries can override the skull’s protective abilities. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when someone receives a blow to the head that is forceful enough to cause the brain to bounce around the skull cavity. This violent action causes damage to the brain tissue, such as tearing, bruising, and bleeding. The brain may swell as a result, which leads to pressure in the skull. Severe swelling can even cut off the oxygen supply to portions of the brain, resulting in cell death.
Any damage to your delicate brain tissue is serious and requires immediate medical treatment. Even seemingly harmless impacts can potentially cause major injury and even fatalities. Sadly, survivors of TBIs can face life-long challenges because the brain may be unable to recover fully. If you or a loved one have experienced a TBI in an accident, it is crucial to understand the type and severity of the injury you’ve sustained so you can be proactive in your care and recovery. A knowledgeable traumatic brain injury lawyer from Villari, Giannone & Matteo P.C. can answer any questions you may have and help you understand your legal options so you can get the high-quality medical treatment you deserve.
What Are the Main Types of Brain Injuries?
TBIs can come in many different forms based on the type of brain damage that has occurred and the nature of the impact that caused it. Victims may have multiple varieties of TBIs from one accident, which can make treatment much more complex. Dangerous secondary complications such as blood clots, stroke, and seizures can also arise. The types of TBIs are broken into two broad categories: closed injuries and open injuries.
A closed head injury occurs when the skull remains intact, but the brain suffers damage from an external impact. Severe shaking or rapid changes in body position, such as the forces inflicted on the body in a rollover accident, can also lead to a closed brain injury.
Common examples of closed brain injuries include:
- Brain hemorrhages: An uncontrolled bleeding of the brain, which is often localized to one area. It can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
- Concussions: The most common type of TBI, which can range from mild to severe. These injuries result from the brain hitting the skull due to an impact.
- Contusions: Often coinciding with concussions and other head injuries, contusions are bruises on the brain tissue.
- Coup-contrecoup injuries: When an individual’s head rapidly strikes a stationary object, the brain may not only hit the skull at the point of impact, but it can also ricochet backward and impact the other side of the skull. This type of injury leads to multiple areas of brain tissue damage.
- Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI): When the brain is twisted or shaken within the skull, tissue tears can occur, known as DAI. These injuries are very severe and difficult to heal.
- Intracranial hematomas: Following an accident, blood can pool between the brain and skull or in pockets inside the brain. It is vital to see a doctor if your pain worsens or you experience new symptoms after a head injury because life-threatening hematomas can occur long after the original injury.
- Second impact syndrome: Experiencing another TBI in a short period can magnify the effects of the injury and lead to worse health outcomes.
Open brain injuries are also known as penetrating brain injuries, and they are the result of an object breaking the skull and physically damaging the brain. Workplace accidents with machinery or tools may result in these gruesome injuries. Gunshot wounds are also common culprits.
Long-term hospital stays may be necessary to ensure proper healing of the skull and brain tissue without infections or other complications. Victims may suffer from seizures, epilepsy, major personality changes, speech difficulties, or other significant health issues, depending on where the object pierced the brain.
What Are the Different Levels of TBIs?
Doctors categorize TBIs into four levels based on the severity of the injury. To determine this, they test the patient’s consciousness using the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). A higher score equals a higher level of consciousness. The four levels of TBIs are:
- Persistent vegetative state (coma)
However, it’s essential not to be misled by these naming conventions. A “mild” TBI is still a severe injury that requires prompt medical treatment and can have long-lasting health effects. It’s best to think of the levels of TBIs as representing the potential for the damage to heal and the timeline for recovery. A moderate to severe TBI level indicates that the brain cells suffered major trauma and will likely take more time to heal than a mild TBI. Some victims of TBIs see improvement in their condition but may never make a full recovery.
If You Have Experienced a TBI, How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help You?
No matter what type of brain injury you’ve suffered, you deserve fair compensation from the negligent party who caused your accident. A skilled, compassionate personal injury lawyer can help you seek justice for your losses, from medical bills and lost wages to the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. While you focus on recovering and spending time with your loved ones, Villari, Giannone & Matteo P.C. can carefully handle all the legal aspects of your personal injury claim. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free, no-obligation case evaluation to learn how our experienced team of lawyers can assist you: 610-609-8477.
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