Types and Severity Levels of Traumatic Brain Injuries
When you hit your head hard, the first thing that comes to mind is probably the thought of whether you will suffer a concussion. While that is the most common type of brain injury, there are a few others that you should be wary of. Understanding all the different types of traumatic brain injuries can help in aiding your personal injury case as you would be able to better identify and prepare yourself for any complications that may arise.
The four common traumatic brain injuries or TBIs are listed below.
Often associated with vomiting, headaches, memory loss, disorientation, and problems with concentration. This common but relatively minor brain injury is caused by a blunt force to the head which can be a result of violence, falling or an auto accident. While concussions are generally non-fatal, a second impact concussion can cause lasting damage. This is called a recurrent TBI or second impact syndrome. Recently, we have heard a lot about these CTE types of cases in the NFL.
Depending on the degree of damage incurred by the first concussion, the second injury might cause deeper damage, even if it is less severe than the first. This can be fatal. Since concussions do not show up on scans, one must take precautions and follow up with your doctor if you hit your head soon after the first injury.
Contusions, otherwise known as bruising of the brain, is when small blood vessels on the brain tissue are damaged. While bruises on our skin are relatively harmless, a bruise on the brain can cause certain issues due to the buildup of pressure. Much like any other brain injury, it is caused by trauma to the head. Hitting your head against something hard, such as the floor, someone else’s skull, or even the steering wheel of a car.
If the force is strong enough, you might find the contusion on the opposite end of where you hit your head, this is because of the brain’s ricocheting movement inside the skull. These are called coup or contrecoup. Contusions can be minor but they can also be fatal. Severe contusions might leave you with a disability.
Penetrating Brain Injuries.
happen when a foreign object pierces the skull. So it is known as a penetrating brain injury. However, if the skull has been fractured, bits and pieces of the bone might come in contact with the brain and result in an injury. Depending on the severity, this can be fatal such as in the case of a gunshot wound to the head which caused the bullet to be lodged in the brain.
There are also instances of freak accidents in which a metal rod is embedded in the head of Phineas Gage. He managed to survive his ordeal. The accident caused severe damage to his frontal lobe and according to those close to him, changed his personality. Brain damage can sometimes cause this to happen as parts of the brain which controls our perception of things are irrevocably altered.
Anoxic Brain Injuries.
Drowning, having a heart attack, stroke, or a blood clot, could deprive the brain of oxygen. Within four to five minutes of oxygen deprivation, brain damage will commence as brain cells die. Sometimes the damage from this can be temporary, but severe oxygen deprivation can lead to coma or even death.