No sane person aims or aspires to get hurt. Just the idea of serious injury is a recurring nightmare for many parents. But unless you wrap yourself or your kids in bubble wrap, there’s little chance of avoiding some form of slip or tumble in life. Scrapes and bruises may be ugly to look at and sting the heart, but they heal within a few days or a week. Even broken bones mend over months when set appropriately. Traumatic brain injury (or TBI) can be another matter altogether. But what are these brain injuries and how are they so different from other afflictions?
What Are Traumatic Brain Injuries and What Is the Most Common Type?
Many people think their brain can’t easily be harmed during an injury due to its bony shell. But that can’t be further from the truth. As the control center of the human body, the brain focuses on delivering messages that we need to function. In turn, we’re supposed to protect it. However, falls, car accidents and even sports injuries can cause the brain to rattle, shake, bruise, swell, and even be punctured. There are five main types of brain injuries which range in severity, signs, symptoms, and recovery time. They’re classified into two categories based on the severity of the individual injury: open head injuries and closed head injuries.
While no brain injury can actually be considered “mild”, a concussion is generally the least harmful of all TBI. It’s also the most common type of brain infliction. This closed head injury can be caused by a fall, assault, car collision, or another collision-related event such as being pummelled in football. While a concussion is severe enough to get medical attention, most clear up within a few days or a week of the incident. Still, symptoms are known to hang around, and the more concussions you experience, the more extensive the healing time becomes. It’s not uncommon for concussions to require the assistance of a brain injury attorney.
What Are the Other Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?
Closed head injuries to the brain usually result from a fall or blow to the head. Skull fractures or other harsh blows can cause a contusion. This is when a specific part of the brain, swells with blood from surrounding broken vessels and the tissue bruises. If high-speed or rough shaking is involved, the contusion can be part of a coup–contrecoup. This is where an injury occurs on the other side of the brain that wasn’t originally hit. Shaken baby syndrome often involves this type of brain injury.
A diffuse axonal injury occurs when the blow or shaking is so severe that nerve tissue within the brain actually tears. The reaction causes a release of brain chemicals which can extend the damage. In this type of TBI, extensive brain damage, coma, or death are often a result. The brain requires oxygen to function. If it receives minimal oxygen, it enters a hypoxic ischemic state. If the accident involves the complete absence of oxygen to brain tissue, the injury is anoxic. In either case, without proper medical attention, the brain can die within minutes. Hopefully, you’ll never be in a situation where you or a loved one suffer from such unbearable injuries, but accidents do happen. If one threatens to shatter your life, let your Ann Arbor Brain Injury Attorney help you with stress-free recovery.