What are Traumatic Brain Injuries and Secondary Brain Injuries?
Traumatic brain injuries can devastate the victims of the injury as well as their families. A traumatic brain injury is often the result of a car accident, a slip and fall, or an act of violence, but can also be the result of a slip and fall, or a sports or recreational accident. The immediate symptoms of a brain injury include blurry vision, difficulty concentrating, and some level of confusion. An infant who has suffered a brain injury could be particularly irritable or cry persistently.
Depending on the level of brain injury, treatment could include rest, medication, or a surgical procedure. A brain injury requires treatment by a medical professional and often requires imaging or lab tests. Any blow to the head requires medical attention, even if the patient thinks he or she is “okay” There are primary traumatic brain injuries as well as secondary brain injuries. Below you will learn about the differences between the two types of brain injury
What is Primary Brain Injury?
A primary brain injury is one that is sustained at the time of a traumatic event, such as a car accident, an act of violence, a slip and fall, or another type of accident. Primary injuries occur at the moment of the initial trauma. Primary injuries include:
- Intracranial hematomas, including epidural hematoma, subdural hematoma, subarachnoid hemorrhage, intracerebral hematoma, and intraventricular hemorrhage.
- Skull fractures, including a linear skull fracture, a depressed skull fracture, and a basilar skull fracture. A skull fracture is a breaking of the bony skull.
- Contusions/Coup-Contrecoup injuries, which involve bruising in the brain tissue, and is usually the result of a motor vehicle crash in which the head is suddenly thrust forward then decelerated backward in a violent manner. Contusions, which are bruises or bleeds on the brain, can lead to hematomas.
- Concussions result from low-velocity injuries and can cause pathological injury and functional deficits.
- Lacerations are tears in the blood vessels or brain tissue.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury results from rotational forces, or violent stopping, twisting and tearing of the brain connections.
A primary brain injury can be caused by a penetrating injury or a non-penetrating injury. A penetrating injury involves an open wound to the head from a foreign object, such as a bullet, and is often marked by damage occurring along the route the object traveled through the brain. A non-penetrating head injury is marked by brain damage resulting from an indirect impact, and no entry of a foreign object into the brain. A non-penetrating injury can be from whiplash resulting from a car injury or other types of injuries as well.
What is Secondary Brain Injury?
A secondary brain injury is the result of physiologic and metabolic alterations beginning at the time of the initial injury. Survival of a severe brain injury is often dependent on minimizing the secondary effects on the brain. Some examples of secondary brain injury effects include:
- Cerebral Edema
- CO2 changes
- Electrolyte abnormalities
- Glucose abnormalities
Infection is a major source of concern in an open skull fracture; any patient with cerebrospinal fluid leak and an open skull fracture should be given prophylactic antibiotics. Epileptic seizures are also of concern following a depressed skull fracture and an intracranial hematoma. About sixty percent of epileptic seizures occur within the first 24 hours after the initial brain injury. Left uncontrolled, seizures can result in cerebral hypoxia.
Second Impact Syndrome
There is also an extremely rare brain injury where death or severe brain injury results when a person sustains a second concussion, even before symptoms from the first brain injury have subsided.
How a Hoffoss Devall Brain Injury Attorney Can Help
If you have suffered a brain injury, your entire life could change, depending on the severity of the injury. If your brain injury was caused by negligence on the part of another person or entity, it is important that you speak to an experienced Hoffoss Devall personal injury attorney to ensure you are compensated for your injuries. Our attorneys will ensure your rights are fully protected and will work hard for your future. Contact Hoffoss Devall today for a consultation regarding your traumatic brain injury.