Different Types of Brain Injuries and The Extent of Severity
There are different types of brain injuries, depending on the mechanism and type of damage. Brain injuries involve damage to the brain, skull, or scalp.
Medically speaking, a Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is a type of injury caused by external forces, such as during motor vehicular accidents, work accidents including falls or blow to the head, and other personal injuries. To understand brain injuries better, we will be discussing its four types and three levels of severity.
4 Types of Brain Injuries
Here’s how the four types of brain injury differ from each other:
A concussion is a mild brain injury caused by high impact forces, shaking or jarring of the brain. There is no permanent structural damage, but the victim may suffer from a brief loss of consciousness for less than 30 minutes. Incoherence may also be observed from the victim, as noted by dizziness, irritability, difficulty with concentration, and forgetfulness.
Repeated concussions are dangerous, as well as Second Impact Syndrome or another concussion before the brain is able to recover fully. The victim may also suffer from Post-Concussion Syndrome, where symptoms manifest only after 3 to 12 months from the time of injury.
Contusions or “brain bruising” are more severe than concussions because there is tissue damage. Unlike bruising on the skin, the brain has a limited capacity for healing. Therefore, contusions can lead to permanent brain damage, such as memory loss or different types of amnesia.
The victim may become disoriented, lose consciousness, become easily fatigued, confused, or agitated after the injury. Contusions are usually caused by serious motor vehicular accidents, very high impact forces, and severe sports injury to the head. It can either be a coup injury, where the damage is directly on the site of impact, or contrecoup injury, where the external force pushes the brain to the opposite side of impact where the damage occurs.
- Penetrating Injury
Penetrating brain injuries are usually open head injuries where fragments of the skull or other external objects cause damage to the brain. This is commonly seen in gunshot wounds, slip, and fall accidents where the skull cracks, motor vehicular accidents where objects pierce through the brain, among others. This may result in localized or large brain damage, with gunshot wounds being the most fatal of all traumatic brain injuries.
- Anoxic Brain Injury
Anoxic brain injury is damage to the brain due to loss of oxygen supply. This may happen to victims who had a stroke, heart attack, blood clot, or traumatic injury, which causes damage to the brain’s blood supply. Blockage of blood flow four to five minutes will deplete oxygen supply and lead to cell death in the brain.
3 Levels of Brain Injury Severity
The extent of brain damage may vary depending on the accident. The severity may be classified according to the amount of time which the victim lost consciousness, or according to traumatic brain injury standardized assessment scales such as the Glasgow Coma Scale or Ranchos Los Amigos Level of Cognitive Functioning Scale.
- Mild (Loss of consciousness = 0-30 minutes)
The victim may only present slight disorientation or loss of consciousness for a few seconds or minutes. Some do not present any symptoms at all.
- Moderate (Loss of consciousness = 30 minutes-6 hours)
Moderate brain injuries may have complications from different aspects: physical such as losing motor control, cognitive such as memory loss or disorientation, or behavioral such as agitation. These symptoms may persist for months and even years, while some are unable to recover.
- Severe (Loss of consciousness = >6 hours)
Severe brain injuries are life-threatening and may leave the victim in a comatose or persistent vegetative state. Brain damage is usually severe and irreversible, leaving the victim with a permanent disability.
Recovering from Traumatic Brain Injury
Suffering from brain injuries require hospitalization and several diagnostic procedures, such as brain imaging. Aside from medications, hospital and doctor fees, the patient will need rehabilitation to be able to return to previous occupations or maintain quality of life.
Even mild brain injuries require close monitoring to prevent serious brain damage. The victim may be temporarily or permanently unable to go back to work, especially if brain injuries are moderate to severe.
Contact The Clark Law Office If You’ve Suffered a Brain Injury in Michigan
Hiring a lawyer who understands the different kinds and implications of various brain injuries is essential to protect your welfare and claims. The Clark Law Office has trained lawyers who are knowledgeable when it comes to personal injury and healthcare laws regarding brain injuries.
Contact us today at (517) 347-6900 or email email@example.com. Together, we’ll explore your rights and options following a brain injury.