What is a Brain Injury?
Brain injury is defined as damage to the tissues and blood vessels in the brain, usually sustained as a result of trauma to the head. Depending on the severity of the injury, the victim may suffer debilitating physical, intellectual, and emotional impairment. Often this will last a person’s lifetime. Estimate show that more than 1.5 million people suffer brain damage each year in the United States, and that the brain injury damage is often caused by the actions or negligent inactions of wrongdoers. In these cases, it is mandatory for Brain Injury victims to work with experienced counsel to ensure that they receive fair compensation for their brain injury. The problems associated with brain injury differ in type and severity, depending on the nature and cause of the injury. Brain trauma injury can usually fall into the categories of either traumatic brain injury (TBI) or acquired brain injury. We represent clients who have suffered from both types of brain trauma. This page contains very generalized information for brain injuries.
Types of Brain Injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI), is usually caused by a jolt or hammering blow to the head, as may be caused during assault, and battery, or in an unfortunate motorcar smash up. Based upon severity, it can cause conditions ranging from a brief change in victim’s consciousness to extended unconsciousness, amnesia, coma or other serious skull injury.
Traumatic brain injuries can all differ:
Concussions occur when the head hits an object violently, and the skull remains intact and even undamaged. Usually, concussions are not regarded to be life threatening, but can be dangerous for people who endure them repeatedly, such as some professional athletes, like boxers. A hematoma is a blood clot that forms on the surface of the brain, usually from a strike, or blow. It can be extremely dangerous as it grows and causes pressure against the sensitive brain.
What is an MTBI?
Mild traumatic brain injury, is damage to the brain like a jarring that results in loss of certain memory functions such as short term or long term memory and even dulled feeling. Passenger vehicle collisions are a major cause of MTBI. You must know the steps to take regarding future care and treatment if you are one of the afflicted. All head wounds can cause irritability, depression, vertigo, feinting spells and even seizures, loss of eyesight and hearing loss. These are catastrophic effects and can require lifetime care.
Acquired Brain Injury
Harm can also occur when the brain is deprived of oxygen, causing “acquired brain injury.” Causes are stroke, heart attack, or near drowning. Certain cases of birth injury, in which the baby’s oxygen flow is restricted for several minutes due to negligence on the part of a doctor, cause this, and may even be actionable as a medical malpractice.
Skull fractures are caused when the bone in your head, or cranium fractures, or cracks like an egg shell. Normally, it mends itself over time. But often the tissue inside the fissure zone gets crippled or damaged and this will typically require surgery to repair the afflicted area(s).
Diffuse Axonal Injury
This poor condition is typically associated most closely with the rotation and disruption of your brain within the cranium. This can cut away, shear or sever the brain axons, which are connecting nerve fibers. Damage such as this is typically difficult to analyze and accompanied by microscopic tears that are difficult to locate at all. If your case is diagnosed as a “mild brain injury” you may notice that the injuries heal over time. But often, a DAI can cause permanent disabilities from loss of consciousness to lifetime coma, and eventual wrongful death.
Currently, medical science has not discovered a methodology to treat diffuse axonal injuries. But medical experts have discovered in some studies that the damage to axons occur in the first 12 to 24 hours after the head impact, or other head type onset. Many are confident that modern advances in science will be able to treat and/or slow down or stop the injury from progressing with medications and other therapy and/or surgery.
Concussions and Contusions
These events can take place on the blink when your brain gets bruised as a result of it hitting and impacting the inside of your cranium, skull. This type of injury creates symptoms from dizziness, seeing stars, mild headaches, severe headaches, loss, or lack of memory and loss of concentration. A simple concussion can even create lifetime consequences that could require lifetime medical care.
Anoxic Brain Injuries
The type of head injury that is known for interrupting blood flow to and from your brain. They are sometimes caused by a lack of oxygen to your brain, such as drowning, swelling or bleeding of the brain tissues.
Subdural Hematoma Defined:
Subdural hematomas are caused from blood clots forming in between your brain tissue and your dura. It can happen in many ways. It could be slow over a few weeks or days. This is called a subdural hematoma. It could be fast, and therefore science calls this an acute subdural hematoma. As with all blood clots you could easily be a candidate for emergency surgery as a corrective measure.
Epidural Hematoma Definded:
This is caused from a blood clot forming between your skull and the inner, upper lining of your brain known as your “dura”. A blood clot in that area of your head causes many pressure changes in your brain, which can result in a medical necessity of emergency surgery in order to effectuate emergency repairs and eliminate the clotting. This is a common injury elder abuse attorneys see in hospitalized patients.
Brain Injury: Leading Cause of Death or Permanent Disability in America
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), claim that brain injury is among the most likely types of injury to cause death or permanent disability. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), acute trauma at the work-place remains a leading cause of death and disability among U.S. workers.
Human Brain Injury Anatomy
The brain weighs a lot, at least two to five pounds in some cases. It consists of a gray, jelly-like substance, called cerebrospinal fluid. The cerebrospinal fluid consists of millions of microscopic fibers. Your brain operates by sending electrically charged neuro-chemical signals through the axonal-dendric connections commonly referred to a synapses. If human brain tissue is impacted by a jolt or strike, your axonal-dendric connections could break apart, or become severely damaged.
Cerebellum, Cortex and Brain Stem
Science has discovered that you brain consists of three major organs called the: cerebellum, cortex, and brain stem, or diencephalon. Your cerebellum is responsible for balance and coordination Your brain stem is what connects your spinal cord to your brain, which in turn sends signals to your vital organs like your heart, and lungs and controls natural survival functions, from adrenaline, heart beat, urination, breathing, consciousness, fear and hunger. Although your skull helps protect your brain, the cranium is not that thick and not padded on the inside. In fact, just the opposite is true. The inside of your cranium is ribbed with bony structures. So if there is a sudden back and forth or side to side movement of your head, the brain can bang into the ribbing and mess you up for life due to the bruise injury.
The cortex is in the middle of your brain and is responsible for the majority of thoughts and analysis. There are 4 lobes to your cortex, along with 2 hemispheres: the right and the left. Your left hemisphere is typically the most dominant portion of your brain and responsible for controlling your ability to talk, read, write, or do mathematical calculations for that matter. The right side of your brain is responsible for visual-spatial functions like musical rhythm, the ability to draw and other visual memories associated with computing, programming and drawing things. Your frontal lobe is most often affected, as a result of it being located at the front of your skull. The frontal lobe is known for controlling emotions and characteristics such as your very personality. But damage can also happen from unfortunate events involving the Cerebellum, Cortex and Brain Stem.
Feel free to browse our educational brain injury materials and learn about your brain and and brain housing known as the head, or skull.