Brain injury is a complex condition that can affect different patients differently. Some develop chronic symptoms after sustaining it while others recover completely. Unfortunately, in many cases, these injuries can be life-altering. Patients and their loved ones must develop a robust support system to maintain a good quality of life.
What is Brain Injury?
A brain injury, specifically, an acquired brain injury, isn’t caused by hereditary, congenital, or degenerative conditions but occurs due to internal or external causes. Such an injury can change your neuronal and metabolic activity, nerve cell function, brain’s physical integrity, and more.
Categories of Brain Injury
Acquired conditions can be divided into two distinct categories; traumatic or non-traumatic. Traumatic injuries are caused by an external force like an impact or vigorous shaking, while an internal force causes non-traumatic injuries. Here’s a look at some common causes:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- An assault that involves head injuries
- Gunshot wounds
- Child abuse
- Trauma causes by shaking a baby vigorously
- Military trauma (injuries caused by explosions or concussive force)
- Domestic violence
- Sports or recreation-related injuries
- Non-Traumatic Brain Injury
- Infectious diseases like encephalitis or meningitis
- Electric shock
- Stroke caused by a blood clot or excessive bleeding(hemorrhaging)
- Neurotoxic poisoning from exposure to lead or carbon monoxide
- Exposure to toxins
- Lack of oxygen caused by drowning, choking, hypoxia, or anoxic injuries
- Drug overdose
Many of these injuries are caused due to assault, negligence, or poor conditions. For example, a guest at a motel with a poorly maintained electrical system can suffer from severe electric shock. A pedestrian can sustain acute traumabecause someone was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If this happens, contact a personal injury lawyer immediately. That’s especially crucial if the injury has long-term consequences.
Common Injury Terms
Medical professionals describe head trauma in different terms based on its nature. Some common terminologies include:
- Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury, which is the most common head trauma people suffer.
- A contusion is bruising or bleeding in the brain because of an injury.
- Coup-contrecoup injury happens when there a wound at the impact site and the opposite side as well.
- Second impact syndrome happens when a person sustains a head injury before their previous trauma has healed, which is common in cases of domestic or child abuse.
- Penetrating injury is caused by knives, bullets, or other sharp objects and mostly occurs in assault cases.
- Abusive head trauma and diffuse axonal injury both occur if a person’s head shakes vigorously enough to rattle their brain. They happen if a person is in a car accident or if someone shakes a baby violently.
- Open head injuries take place when a sharp object penetrates the outer layer of meninges or dura mater.
- Closed head injuries have no external wounds or bleeding, that can cause the brain to swell, which creates intracranial pressure.
These injuries can range from mild to severe, and treatment usually depends on how critical they are. If a patient has mild trauma, they typically experience a brief loss of consciousness, some lethargy, vomiting, dizziness, or memory loss. People with moderate conditions experience prolonged bouts of unconsciousness, wounds or bleeding, and show strong signs of brain trauma. Symptoms of severe brain injury include long-term loss of consciousness or coma, no signs of sleep/wake cycle, and signs of injuries in neuroimaging tests.
If you’ve suffered from a traumatic brain injury and believe someone should be held responsible for it, hire a qualified personal injury attorney. Tim Titolo Brain & Injury Law will offer all the assistance you need during this time by providing expert legal advice.