A brain injury is anything that causes dysfunction in the brain and is considered a subsection of catastrophic injuries. They can be caused by many things, but these injuries are most commonly associated with being hit in the head or a traumatic event, such as a car wreck. There are many different types of these catastrophic injuries. Our Dallas auto accident attorney mentions that while some may be temporary in the duration of the symptoms, most cause life-long consequences. At the end of the day, a brain injury is nothing to take lightly.
Why Is a Brain Injury Called the "Silent Injury"?
Brain damage is often associated with people that look fine on the outside. People expect that when someone looks fine, they should act fine. However, anyone with a catastrophic injury knows that what appears on the outside is not always accurate of what is going on inside. It goes back to the old adage, "don't judge a book by its cover".
Different Types of Brain Injuries
There are many different types of brain injuries. While they may differ in terms of symptoms or location, they are all serious and life-changing.
- Contusion: A contusion is a visible bruising of the brain due to trauma or blood leaking from blood vessels. This can be caused when the brain bounces off the skull or an impact to the head causes internal bleeding.
- Hematoma: Hematoma is damage resulting from leaking blood collecting in a confined area of the brain or skull. A hematoma can be subdural, epidural or intracerebral.
- Concussion: A concussion is any blow that causes shearing of the brain cells and is not detected by CT scans or MRIs. In fact, the CDC now classifies concussions as traumatic brain injuries. There is no such thing as a mild traumatic injury in this realm.
- Anoxia/Hypoxia: Brain cell death resulting from cells receiving no oxygen (anoxia), or not enough oxygen (hypoxia). This can happen from an electric shock or any other traumatic event that prevents oxygen from getting to your head.
- Coup-Contrecoup Injuries: These occur when you have at least two injury sites in the brain. For example, when your head is slammed to the ground from a fall. Your brain may bounce in the skull. When it bounces, it will hit multiple parts of the skull causing internal injuries to the brain, such as bleeding.
What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Injury?
Many symptoms associated with an injury are common sense, but that also means that they are easily overlooked. Unfortunately, many of these issues every year go undiagnosed. Sometimes injuries are missed because of other life-threatening injuries or other orthopedic injuries causing pain. If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms, please make sure to seek medical attention for a possible injury:
- Poor balance
- Fatiguing easily
- Ringing in ears
- Recurrent headaches
- Motion sickness
- Sensitivity to touch
- Increased irritability
- Sleep disturbances
- Disorientation and confusion
It may take time to realize that these are symptoms of a catastrophic injury. There are many forms of imaging to diagnose these injuries, but not all nerve damage shows up on imaging. For example, CT Scans are typically used in emergency rooms to rule out obvious signs of bleeding in the head. However, a negative CT Scan does NOT rule out mental damage. In fact, you can have damage but have all normal scans. Other tests that can be run, but are not necessarily indicative of this form of injury are MRI, fMRI, SPECT, and PET scans.