Too Many People Experience Head and Brain Injuries Each Year in the U.S.
In the United States alone, over 1,000,000 people suffer from head injuries each year. Head impact injuries, especially "traumatic brain injuries," can leave the victim in varying states of debilitation. While blunt trauma to the skull is the most likely source of traumatic brain injury, prolonged lack of oxygen, or the "anoxic brain injury" can also have severe and life threatening consequences. With traumatic brain injury, the victim's brain may swell, bruise, and tear, while anoxic brain injury causes the brain cells to die from lack of oxygen. Traumatic brain injury is more common than anoxic brain injury, however both injuries have similar consequences and treatments.
Different Types of Brain and Head Injuries
There may be a period of unconsciousness immediately following the trauma, which may last minutes, weeks or months. Due to the twisting and rebounding, the traumatically brain injured patient usually receives damage or bruising to many parts of the brain. This is called diffuse damage. An "open head injury" is a visible assault to the head and may result from a gunshot wound, an accident or an object going through the skull into the brain. This type of head injury is more likely to damage a specific area of the brain. So called "mild brain injury" may occur with no loss of consciousness and possibly only a dazed feeling or confused state lasting a short time. This is sometimes referred to as brain injury without coma. Although medical care administered may be minimal, persons with brain injury without coma may experience symptoms and impairments similar to those suffered by the survivor of a coma injury.