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Causes and effects of traumatic brain injuries

Posted by attorney Mitchell Sexner

Fromcar accidents to work accidents, traumatic brain injuries may occur at any time and for a variety of reasons. More than a million people suffer a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control with tens of thousands of those suffering fatal injuries that leave behind families, friends and shattered lives. A brain injury typically affects not only physical abilities, but cognitive and personality functions including thinking, language, sensation, or emotions. It may also increase the risk for certain conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease or other brain disorders. If you believe that you or a loved one has suffered such an injury, immediate medical attention is a priority. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Fatigue, difficulty concentrating, or memory loss
  • Confusion or unconsciousness
  • Headaches, dizziness, or blurry vision
  • Vomiting, abnormal speech or nausea

- Loss of coordination or emotional irritability

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), over five millions people are in need of assistance in their daily living requirements as a result of a traumatic brain injury. Although many have been diagnosed with a TBI, many others remain undiagnosed and have not associated prior traumatic events as contributing factors to their present condition. The main types of brain injuries include:

  • Hemorrhage refers to a current or past bleeding in the brain. When a blood vessel has burst, the extra blood that collects puts pressure on the brain tissue and cells which may need to be relieved by draining. A hemorrhage can be classified as either intracerebral, cerebral or intra-axial in nature.
  • Hypoxic-Anoxic refers to anoxia or hypoxia of the brain in which the steady flow of oxygen is interrupted resulting in damage to the brain depending on the length of interruption. Hypoxic is a partial obstruction of oxygen, whereas anoxic is a total obstruction of oxygen to the brain.
  • Hematoma is a blood clot such as a contusion or bruise. In reference to a brain injury, it may be: 1) an epidural hematoma which is involves active bleeding where arteries have been torn, 2) a subdural hematoma which is a result of violent movement of the skull where veins are torn and a bleed begins such as shaken baby syndrome, or 3) a subarachnoid hematoma which is also referred to as a stroke or aneurysm.
  • Closed Head Injury is a result of violent movement of the brain where the skull is not penetrated, resulting in intracranial pressure and swelling.
  • Open Head Injury is a result of penetration of the skull by an object and involves direct trauma to the brain.
  • Concussion is any type of injury to the head that affects normal brain function on a temporary basis and may result from car accidents, sports injuries or bicycle accidents

Additional resources provided by the author

If you or a family member has suffered a accident or injury, we urge you to contact an experienced attorney. Such an attorney will carefully evaluate your case and explain the legal options available to you at no charge.

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