Sep 24 2022 |
6 Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
One of the most devastating injuries is a traumatic brain injury. But what’s even worse is the impact of a TBI isn’t always immediately noticeable. Even seemingly minor injuries such as concussions can result in tragic losses when not treated early on.
Falls and blows or impacts to the head must be taken seriously to prevent severe consequences. This is a tragic lesson learned the hard way by families and communities of many Canadians like Rowan Stringer, whose death is now marked as Rowan’s Law Day.
If you or someone you love was in an accident, got injured, or sustained blows to the head, it’s important to see a doctor and rule out a TBI. However, if the injury does turn out to be a TBI, it’s essential to know what exactly caused it and who is liable. A personal injury lawyer experienced in brain injuries can help you and your family seek compensation and closure. Find out how.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury or a TBI is caused by external physical damage to the brain. TBI is a broad term that refers to a wide range of brain injuries, from mild to severe and, worst of all, fatal.
Given the vital function of this organ, brain injuries should be treated right away, with extreme caution. Without urgent medical help, they can worsen and result in long-term complications, if not death.
While a minor brain injury like a concussion can affect the brain cells only temporarily, a serious injury can cause bruising, tissue tearing, bleeding, permanent brain damage, coma, or death. As a result, TBIs are one of the most common disabilities and causes of death among adults. However, there is a chance for recovery from moderate TBI. To regain brain function, patients may need neurosurgery and physical, speech, and occupational therapy.
Types of Traumatic Brain Injury
There are several types of brain injuries that can occur when the head is injured. Brain injuries are defined by how they happen, and when. Let’s go over the most common types of TBIs:
1. Closed brain injury
A closed brain injury refers to a non-penetrating injury to the head that does not break the skull. This type of traumatic brain injury is typically caused by a rapid or forceful motion that shakes the brain. When this happens, the brain tissue hits the hard bone surface of the skull, resulting in bruising and tearing of tissue and blood vessels.
Closed brain injuries usually happen in car accidents, falls, and sports. Even shaking a baby or young child can cause this brain injury, also known as shaken baby syndrome.
2. Penetrating brain injury
This type of traumatic brain injury results from an open head wound. It happens when the skull breaks due to a foreign object penetrating it, such as a bullet.
3. Diffuse axonal injury
A DAI is a type of brain injury that happens when the long connective nerves in the brain—called axons—are torn. This is caused by the rapid shift or rotation of the brain inside the skull. It’s known as a “blunt” head injury.
Initially, signs of a DAI brain injury may be microscopic. As a result, they are not immediately seen on CT and MRI scans. However, the longer it goes undetected, the more likely it can progress to a coma and affect other parts of the brain. Signs of a DAI range from brief unconsciousness when minor to coma, permanent damage, or death in severe cases.
DAI brain injuries usually happen as a result of car accidents or collisions. Typically, these crashes involve rapid acceleration and deceleration upon impact.
When a Brain Injury Happens
1. Primary brain injury
A primary brain injury refers to the sudden impact of a profound injury to the brain. It can be closed or penetrating, considered more or less complete when it happens. This usually happens during a car accident, fall, or gunshot wound.
2. Secondary brain injury
In contrast, a secondary brain injury refers to the evolving condition of the brain following the impact and the lasting effects over the next few hours and days. Secondary brain injuries are measured in terms of cellular, chemical, blood vessel, and tissue changes in the brain that result in further damage.
3. Second Impact Syndrome
Related to a secondary brain injury, Second Impact Syndrome or SIS happens due to repeat injuries to the brain. This was a key factor in Rowan’s Law Day. In Rowan’s case, SIS occurred because a second concussion was sustained before the first one could heal.
The second impact can cause rapid swelling of the brain, to grave and even fatal consequences. The impact of Second Impact Syndrome—and Rowan’s tragic story—are lessons in treating concussions and other head injuries seriously to ensure that they heal and prevent further damage.
What happens after a brain injury? The effects of a TBI
As its name suggests, a traumatic brain injury is life-altering, if not fatal. Those who survive a profound brain injury have a long road to recovery. And even then, a full recovery with complete brain function may not always be possible. A TBI can result in a lifelong disability, requiring extensive care and rehabilitation.
Along with death or coma, here are the most common effects of a TBI:
- Cognitive deficits, such as memory problems, difficulty with problem-solving and judgment, and confusion.
- Motor deficits, such as paralysis, weakness, spasticity or tightening of the muscles, poor balance and coordination, lower endurance, tremors, and difficulty swallowing.
- Sensory deficits, such as changes in hearing, vision, smell, touch, and taste.
- Speech or language deficits, including difficulty speaking, reading, writing, and performing basic tasks, slow or hesitant speech, and diminished ability to form sentences.
- Regulatory disturbances, such as fatigue, dizziness, headaches, changes in sleep and eating habits, loss of bowel and bladder control.
- Social problems, including difficulties in social interactions, making friends, and interpersonal relationships.
- Psychological challenges, such as anxiety and depression, apathy, irritability, reduced motivation, and disinhibition.
- Traumatic epilepsy, wherein seizures happen immediately after or within a year of the brain injury and can recur years later.
Life After a Traumatic Brain Injury
Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury
If a brain injury doesn’t result in loss of life, it is possible to recover. While brain cells are typically unable to regenerate, recovery depends on the ability of other areas of the brain to make up for the deficits caused by the injury to the affected tissues. Recovery can be achieved through long-term rehabilitation, such as:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Speech therapy
- Recreational therapy
How Our Brain Injury Lawyers Can Help
At Zayouna Law Firm, we have a team of personal injury lawyers who are experienced in brain injury. Throughout our years of experience, we have seen the devastating impacts of a TBI on individuals and families up close—and we’re determined to help people like you find a way forward.
Our brain injury lawyers can help you seek compensation for the profound impacts of a TBI on your and your loved ones’ quality of life. We can help you file a personal injury claim to help you seek the damages you deserve, and secure your long-term financial and recovery needs. Outside of the courtroom, we also provide essential support, so you can access the best care and uplift your quality of life.
Did you or a loved one suffer a brain injury? We can help. Get in touch with our brain injury lawyers at Zayouna Law Firm to figure out your next steps.