Traumatic brain injury questions – What to do

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

These injuries are caused by unexpected forces to the head, either by an object hitting the head or splitting the skull and causing brain injuries. If the head stops, causing the brain to strike the skull, this can also cause a TBI. The victim’s life is forever changed when they suffer one of these injuries. Some of the many serious consequences which are associated with these injuries include:

  • Paralysis or speech impediments.
  • Communication and perception difficulties.
  • Mood changes and depression.
  • Seizures.
  • Difficulties concentration and memory problems.
  • Spastic muscles.

In order to stop the bleeding, certain traumatic injuries may require surgery. This is due to pressure gathering near the brain which has to be stopped. Seeing specialists, undergoing various treatments, and undergoing a variety of therapies, are some of the things individuals who suffer from these injuries may require in the future. From visiting speech pathologists to psychologists and physical therapists, many specialists may be involved in treating these injuries.

How is it possible for the brain to be injured?

1. Concussions

Some who suffer from concussions find it difficult to concentrate for a matter of seconds, others may lose complete control and fall to the ground because of losing consciousness. Although the brain can heal from these injuries, they are dangerous. The amount of force required to cause permanent damage is unclear.

Types of concussions

Grade 1 is mild, which occur when a person doesn’t lose consciousness or pass out. They may, however, seem dazed.
Grade 2 concussions occur when the individual doesn’t lose consciousness but are more severe in that the person can’t remember an event or a period of time.
Grade 3 concussions are the most severe. The individual loses consciousness for a period of time and has no recollection of the events which occurred.

Concussions can happen at any time and to any person. A blow to the head, a fall during a motor vehicle accident, fall, assaults, or sports injuries, are some of the most common situations in which concussions can occur. In the US, it is estimated that over 600,000 hospital visits are the result of head injuries, such as concussions.

2. Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI)

These injuries occur when nerve cells located in the gray matter communicate with distant nerve cells through the long fibers, which are called axons. These axons are what make up the white matter. Sudden twisting, such as that which occurs from injuries like whiplash, can cause these injuries. The stretch and twist motion can cause damage to the axonal fibers which are very delicate, resulting in these types of TBIs. The damage which results to these fibers is what is known as a DAI injury. These injuries are typically the result of severe whiplash injuries, which cause the patient to become comatose. CT and MRI scans can’t catch these injuries as they are microscopic.

3. Direct Impact Injury

Any force which breaks through or fractures the skull will result in severe brain injury. These are known as direct impact injuries. The direct impact does not have to penetrate the skull in order to occur. The force alone can cause the brain to hit the skull, which causes the direct injury due to the heavy impact. These impact injuries can happen when the skull strikes an object like a sidewalk. When the moving head comes to a quick stop all of a sudden, the brain continues moving, which is why it comes into contact with the skull. Bruising of the brain and bleeding can potentially occur because of these types of injuries.

4. Hypoxia Injury

These injuries are suffered when there is a lack of oxygen getting to the brain, even though the individual’s heart continues to function during this period. A series of factors can contribute to hypoxia, some of which include:

  • Drowning, strangling, or choking incidents.
  • Suffocation or cardiac arrest.
  • Head trauma.
  • Poisoning from carbon monoxide.
  • General anesthesia complications.

The brain cells are extremely sensitive to oxygen deprivation, and they can die in a matter of only five minutes time. This occurs once the oxygen supply has been completely cut off. If the hypoxia lasts for more than five minutes, some of the potential issues which may occur include comas, seizures, and even the possibility of the individual becoming brain dead.

5. Indirect Impact Injury

Shaken baby syndrome is one of the examples commonly associated with this type of injury. Severe or violent shaking will stretch and greatly damage the nerve cells in the brain. Severe whiplash in an auto accident is also a leading cause in these types of injuries.

Secondary types of brain injury

1. Comas

This occurs when the individual is incapable of conscious behaviors. A coma is a malfunction of the brain’s ability to think and life support centers. There are two types of coma associated with spinal and head trauma.

Edemas

This is swelling of the brain occurring because of head injuries or cardiac arrest. Some symptoms associated with this injury include decreased levels of consciousness, headaches, psychotic behavior and hallucination, comas and memory loss. If untreated, edemas can lead to death.

Brain edema

This occurs when increased pressure to the inside of the head is present. Pressure can squeeze soft brain tissues against the skull leading to brain damage.

2. Hematomais

This is when blood collects due to torn blood vessels or tissue injuries. The dura is a tough membrane covering the brain and spinal cord. If a blood clot develops outside the dura, it is defined as an epidural hematoma. One clot developing between the dura and brain is referred to as a subdural hematoma.

If you have a loved one who is suffering from a TBI, or if you simply have questions about traumatic brain injuries, you have to get in touch with the right legal team. Call the offices of Tanya Gendelman P.C today, to have these questions answered, and to learn what your rights are. Call her offices at (1) 718 – 616 – 1414. You can also contact her offices online, via email or through her direct office site.