Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Types of traumatic brain injury

A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that Pennsylvania residents might be familiar with, but other types of TBI can occur due to things like falls, motor vehicle accidents and blows to the head. A penetrating injury takes place when the skull is penetrated and a foreign object damages specific parts of the brain. The other major type of TBI is a closed head injury, which happens when one suffers a blow to the head. This can result in primary or secondary brain damage.

Damage that is complete after an impact is referred to as primary brain damage, and one with this type of TBI may suffer from a skull fracture or blood clots, which can occur in the brain or between the brain and skull. Bruises or contusions might form near where an impact occurred, and contusions could also appear because the brain can come into contact with bony ridges inside the skull after the force of a blow. Primary brain damage may also cause lacerations when tearing occurs on the front or sides of lobes or blood vessels, and nerve damage arises if a blow causes the shearing or cutting of connecting nerve fibers.

When a TBI evolves after the impact of a blow, secondary brain damage occurs. This may involve fever, epilepsy, brain swelling, anemia, intracranial infection and abnormal blood coagulation.

Physicians know that it is important to assess a patient for brain damage when blows to the head or head injuries take place, and proper diagnosis is critical to recovery and helps prevent further damage. The failure to diagnose a brain injury may result in severe long-term physical and financial consequences, and a medical malpractice attorney can provide advice and counsel about potential remedies.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)", November 10, 2014

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