TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY: COMMON TYPES
Updated: Sep 30, 2019
What is traumatic brain injury?
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, covers a wide range of injuries to the head that can be caused either by direct or indirect impact. These can include accidents that cause direct insult to the brain and skull, often breaking through the bones of the skull, as well as jolts or shocks to the head or neck that cause damage by jarring the brain sharply back and forth or side to side. These indirect injuries often result in internal bruising or bleeding that can be difficult to detect on immediate physical examination. The “hidden” nature of an indirect type of insult can make these types of injuries especially worrisome since they can go undiagnosed for some time, allowing damage to occur undetected until major health concerns arise.
Treating traumatic brain injuries can take years – sometimes a lifetime – and the costs can be exorbitant. Many people who suffer from TBIs require months or years of therapy, and some accident victims never fully recover.
Each year, about 2.5 million men, women, and children suffer traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), primarily as the result of slip and fall accidents, auto accidents and falling objects. The type of injury can vary considerably, but any type can result in lifelong injuries.
These are the most common types of TBIs:
Concussion: Concussions are the most common type of brain injury. Most people think of a concussion as “just” a bump on the head, but even seemingly minor concussions can result in a lifetime of medical issues for some people. Concussions are caused by both direct and indirect blows to the head, including whiplash injuries that typically occur from “fender bender” car accidents and many slip and fall injuries. Many concussions can cause damage to the nerves and blood vessels in the head, and some can cause potentially fatal blood clots to form. Because of the tendency to consider many concussions as mild injuries, many patients who experience concussions wind up not getting the treatment they need until debilitating symptoms emerge. Since the effects of a concussion may not show up on imaging tests, it's essential to be monitored and followed up for potential symptoms.
Contusion: A contusion is a bruising of brain tissue which can result in bleeding from tiny blood vessels as well as swelling, which can cause headaches and nerve and tissue damage. In some cases, large or spreading contusions may need to be surgically removed to avoid crowding the brain and causing permanent brain damage. Some accidents cause what is known as a coup-contrecoup, a condition that occurs when a contusion forms on two sides of the brain as a result of the initial impact and the motion of the brain as it slams against the opposite side of the skull.
Diffuse Axonal Injury: These injuries are similar to those seen in so-called shaken baby syndrome. In diffuse axonal injury, extreme forces such as the jolt from a car accident, fall, or other impact causes brain tissue, nerve and vessels to tear apart. This tearing can also cause the release of chemicals that can cause additional injury to brain tissue.
Penetration: These injuries occur when an object penetrates the brain, forcing bone, skin and even hair into the wound and injuring brain matter as well as vessels and nerves. Penetration also carries a risk of brain infection.
Anoxia: Anoxia occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen for a prolonged period, such as in near-drowning or when problems arise during surgery or medical treatment. Like all tissues, brain tissue needs oxygen to live; oxygen deprivation can cause significant brain damage.
At the Law Offices of Vatche Bostadjian, we understand the challenges traumatic brain injury victims face. Whether your injury occurs as a result of a car or truck crash, a slip and fall accident or another accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries. If you've been the victim of an accident, call us today to learn how we can help you.