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The Different Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

The Different Types of Traumatic Brain InjuriesBrain injuries can occur in different areas, affecting the brain in unique ways. Although “traumatic brain injury” (TBI)  is the umbrella term to describe these injuries, there are actually several different types of TBIs.

If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury, you should understand the issues and details associated with the various types of TBIs.

Open vs. closed traumatic brain injuries

No matter what type of brain injury you have, it is considered to be open or closed.

  • Open traumatic brain injury: An open traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain has a penetrating or open wound/injury. This means that something pierced through your skull and brain. A common example of an open traumatic brain injury is when a person is shot with a firearm, and the bullet goes into their brain.
  • Closed traumatic brain injury: A closed traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is injured but there is no opening or penetrating injury. Most of the time, closed traumatic brain injuries happen when the brain moves, shifts, or shakes. As a result, the brain may strike the sides of the hard skull, causing severe bruising, tearing, or permanent damage. Common accidents that cause individuals to suffer closed traumatic brain injuries include sports accidents, motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and more.

Six common types of traumatic brain injuries

As mentioned, there are several different types of traumatic brain injuries. Here are six of the most common:

  1. Concussion: Concussions are one of the most frequently diagnosed traumatic brain injuries. They are usually thought of as mild. However, some concussions can be severe and have long-term effects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines a concussion as “a type of traumatic brain injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”
  2. Contusion: Brain contusions occur when an individual has bruising on the surface of the brain, which can damage the inside of the brain as well. Brain contusions have the ability to disrupt and destroy blood vessels and tissues within the brain.
  3. Diffuse axonal injury: A diffuse axonal injury is one of the most severe types of traumatic brain injuries. These brain injuries form when the axons in the brain suffer any “shearing, stretching, or twisting injuries.” As a result, the axons become stretched out, disfigured, or even permanently impaired. This can cause a host of lifelong complications, which are extremely difficult and often impossible to overcome.
  4. Coup-contrecoup injury: An individual may be diagnosed with a coup-contrecoup injury if they have two injuries in their brain. This is usually the result of the initial impact that caused the first injury, which caused the brain to move and form the second injury. This is common in car accidents. For example, if you were involved in an accident that caused your head to hit the dashboard, this could cause the brain to bounce off the front of your skull and slide to the back of the skull. When the brain strikes the back of your skull, a second injury will emerge.
  5. Intracranial hematoma: If there is blood within the skull, you may find out that you or a loved one has an intracranial hemorrhage. This usually happens when a person has been involved in a serious accident, which caused a blood vessel to explode inside the brain. As a result, the blood begins to leak out and pool under the skull and within the brain tissue, which can cause intense pressure on the brain. This type of traumatic brain injury is usually an emergency that requires immediate medical attention. If left untreated, death is likely.
  6. Subdural hematoma: A subdural hematoma is similar to an intracranial hematoma except the bleeding collects between the arachnoid membrane and the dura mater. The bleeding that occurs in a subdural hematoma happens outside the brain (underneath the skull), which places tremendous pressure on the brain. This is another life-threatening traumatic brain injury that must be treated as quickly as possible to prevent permanent damage, disabilities, and death.

What is second impact syndrome?

A serious condition that can occur with any type of traumatic brain injury is called second impact syndrome. This condition happens when a person suffers a second head injury before they finish healing from the first head injury. Even though this condition is considered to be rare, it can be deadly. Therefore, it is important for your doctor to evaluate and assess your brain to ensure that it is properly healing and that no other secondary injuries are arising. In addition, if you feel like something isn’t right during your recovery, you should let your healthcare provider know right away to increase your chances of avoiding second impact syndrome.

If you recently suffered a traumatic brain injury because of another person’s negligent behavior, the Chattanooga brain injury lawyers at Wagner Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help. Our team knows and understands the various types of traumatic brain injuries that our clients face, which is why we believe we would be a good fit for your case. Please call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation today. We serve clients in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia for your convenience.