What Are the Most Common Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries?
Any damage that affects your brain can make a difference in your quality of life. Getting a traumatic brain injury is more common than you might think. In fact, they are actually the most common kinds of brain injury a person can get. According to Spinal Cord, a leading source of information on brain and brain injuries, thousands of people suffer and die from traumatic brain injuries each year. Some of those people weren’t even aware that they had them.
What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), how do you get a TBI, and how can you get compensation for a life-debilitating brain injury?
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when your body encounters a large amount of force that causes your head to jostle. These kinds of injuries can occur during extreme sports, fistfights, car crashes, gunshots, stabbings, and getting hit in the head, just to name a few.
People who experience head injuries should always seek out a medical professional to ensure they haven’t suffered a severe cognitive injury that requires treatment. It can be difficult for individuals with brain injuries to diagnose themselves. You may have to perceive the subtle changes in cognition that come with brain injuries, and it can take weeks for symptoms to arise.
Categories of Traumatic Brain Injuries
TBIs fall into two major categories.
Closed-Wound Injuries. Closed wound injuries occur when the brain twists or collides with a person’s skull, and there are no external signs of brain stress. The brain colliding against the skull can cause bruising and internal hemorrhaging, which can damage the nerve fibers, causing distress for the person experiencing the injury.
Open-Wound Injuries. These occur when there is the exposer of the brain through the skull. This kind of damage can be done by gunshots or in a stabbing and are often more traumatic to look at than closed-wound injuries are.
Within these categories, several different injuries can occur. While some would be non-traumatic, many can be severe and should be identified quickly to help the person deal with or recover from their traumatic brain injury. These injuries can include:
Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury. This is a serious injury caused when the brain slams into the opposite side of the impact point, causing damage to both sides of the brain. Severe symptoms of confusion and disorientation will likely be immediately evident if someone experiences the coup-contrecoup brain injury.
Concussions. A concussion is the most common kind of brain injury, but that does not mean that it isn’t significant or severe. Caused by a jolt to the head that causes the brain to accelerate and shake, some concussions are mild and aren’t much to worry about while others can be severe. People who experience many concussions may develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). They may experience memory loss and have a decrease in motor skills.
Brain Contusions. A contusion is another word for a bruise, so a contusion on your brain is just how it sounds—a brain bruise. Often, brain contusions go hand in hand with concussions. Severe contusions that don’t naturally stop bleeding and heal like another bruise may need to be surgically removed to avoid further neural damage.
Diffuse Axonal Injury. Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) is similar to a concussion but is generally more severe and uncommon. In this extreme injury, the brain is unable to handle the speed at which it is moving, and the force causes your brain to tear. Large tears can be fatal.
The issues you can feel from DAI can be exasperated by compounding issues like concussions and brain contusions.
Second Impact Syndrome. It’s a well-known fact that when you get an injury, like a broken bone or a large cut, you eventually heal. A scar may appear where the tissue was cut or broken. On other parts of your body, this makes it stronger. When it comes to brain injuries, getting a second injury in the same location can cause more catastrophic damages.
Shaken Baby Syndrome. Shaking a baby can result in a series of internal hemorrhages and tears that are similar to the injuries seen in DAI. However, the force of shaking on a baby is more global, and thus the damage done is more global. Shaking a baby can cause strokes, tears, and nerve damage that can be life-altering, if not fatal.
Penetrating Injuries. These kinds of injuries occur when the skull is penetrated by an object, causing perfuse bleeding and disrupted oxygen supply to the brain. While these can be treated, the severity of the lasting injuries will change based on the kind of damage the brain endured and the treatments and surgeries that will be necessary for recovery.
Getting the Help that You Need and Deserve
If you or a loved one suffered from a TBI and need a traumatic brain injury lawyer, your first step would be to contact a trusted local attorney and learn more about legal recourse for you or a loved on. Lawyers are there to help you or your loved ones get the compensation you deserve from the person or institution that caused the harm.