Understanding Types of Brain Injuries

Understanding Types of Brain InjuriesThe brain is responsible for emotion, intelligence, consciousness, movement, and sensation. However, with one strike or bump, the cells and tissues that make up the brain and carry out these responsibilities can become bruised, torn, and temporarily or permanently damaged in a matter of seconds. It is an unfortunate fact that brain injuries have the potential to change a person’s life forever.

What are traumatic brain injuries?

Traumatic brain injuries are serious injuries that are caused by a strong “blow, bump, or jolt to the head.” These injuries are the result of an external force and can arise in a variety of accidents including slip and falls, motor vehicle collisions, construction accidents, bicycle accidents, worksite accidents, pedestrian accidents, and more. It is important to know that traumatic brain injuries can either be open or closed injuries:

  • An open brain injury is an injury that causes the skull to break or crack in some manner. For example, a bullet can go through the skull and pierce the brain, causing an open brain injury. Another example of an open brain injury is when a sharp, metal object in a vehicle goes through the skull and pierces the brain during a car accident.
  • A closed brain injury is an injury that does not penetrate, break, or open the skull. This can happen when the head moves back and forth quickly from a violent attack or a rear-end car accident. When the head shakes with too much force, it can cause the brain to strike the hard skull, resulting in bleeding, bruised, or damaged cells and tissues within the brain.

Traumatic brain injuries require immediate medical treatment. If you believe that you may have bumped your head or that your head moved too quickly during an accident, it is crucial to visit the Cherry Hill emergency department or your primary doctor’s office as quickly as possible. The doctor will run tests to rule out the possibility of a brain injury as well as determine what type of treatment plan is needed if any brain injuries are found.

The different types of brain injuries

There are several different types of brain injuries that can occur when someone bumps or hits their head on a hard surface or object. Here are six of the most common:

  1. Concussions: Concussions are the most common types of brain injuries. While often accompanied by loss of consciousness, some occur without this condition. Many people think of concussions as minor brain injuries, but with up-to-date research and information, these brain injuries are now seen as more serious injuries that can affect a person’s daily life.
  2. Contusions: Contusions are bruises on the brain, which means that the brain has experienced some type of trauma and mild bleeding. Most doctors expect contusions to heal on their own with time and rest. However, if that does not happen or if the bleeding is severe, surgery will likely be required.
  3. Diffuse axonal injuries: Diffuse axonal injuries (DAI) are one of the most serious forms of traumatic brain injuries. These injuries are caused by significant shaking or rotational forces which cause tears in the brain structure. The tears can also result in neuro-chemical disruptions throughout a person’s brain. Based on which brain structures are injured, a person can experience a variety of symptoms, which include motor function disruption, memory disruption, and olfactory disruption.
  4. Brain hemorrhages: A brain hemorrhage occurs when a person has severe bleeding on or within the brain that cannot be stopped or controlled. These types of brain injuries may not result in as much damage as some other types of brain injuries. However, if they are left untreated or treatment is delayed, they can cause life-altering complications or even death.
  5. Coup-contrecoup brain injuries: Another common type of brain injury is the coup-contrecoup brain injury. While these injuries are technically two separate injuries, they must both be present in order to be diagnosed with a coup-contrecoup brain injury. The coup injury is the initial injury that occurs from the first strike, and the contrecoup injury occurs on the other side of the brain. This usually happens when the brain is initially struck on a hard object, causing it to slide backwards into the bony skull and form a second injury.
  6. Second impact brain syndrome: Second impact brain syndrome is extremely dangerous. This condition arises after you experience a second brain injury without having adequate time to heal from the first brain one. Most of the time, the second injury is worse than the first, and your brain can suffer significant damage. Therefore, you should always visit a licensed medical professional any time you suspect a brain injury to ensure that you get the proper treatment needed before putting yourself at risk of another one.

If you have been affected by a brain injury and believe another party is responsible, contact a Cherry Hill personal injury attorney who can work to secure compensation for your damages and losses. At Ferrara & Gable, we know and understand that traumatic brain injuries can affect you in major ways. Therefore, our team is ready and available to listen to your experience, go over your legal rights and options, and stand up and fight for the compensation you need and deserve to get your life back on track. Call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your no-cost case evaluation today. Although we are based in Cherry Hill, we happily serve clients throughout all of South Jersey.

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