The three most common types of traumatic brain injuries are concussions, cerebral contusions, and penetrating brain injuries. Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are caused by car accidents, workplace accidents, and any other situation that involves a blunt force to the head. Everyone has a skull that protects the brain, but when the skull is hit hard enough, this causes the brain to push violently against the hard bone. That is enough to damage the brain and result in mild to severe disabilities. If someone else caused your injury through negligence, a Tennessee car accident lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensation.
Compared to contusions and cracked skulls, concussions appear mild. However, this type of TBI can still lead to debilitating effects if left untreated. Concussions can evoke chemical changes in your brain and stretch your neurons. The effects of this can lead to:
- Worsening headache
- Nausea with vomiting
- Slurred speech
- Feeling numb or weak
You may also feel zoned out, which can last several weeks.
Contusions are bruises, so cerebral contusions are bruises on the brain. This means the brain is covered in regions that are bleeding, which leads to swelling within 48 hours after the injury. Most people lose consciousness first and headaches usually follow. In some cases, bleeding may rise too high and doctors will have to cut a hole in the skull to relieve built-up pressure by removing the contusion.
Penetrating Brain injuries
Penetrating brain injuries are more severe because a foreign object has gone through the skull and damaged the brain directly. This can tear or gouge the brain, which results in a loss of function related to whichever brain area was hit. Call 911 immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing the following symptoms because this injury can be life-threatening:
- Profuse bleeding from the head or ears
- A visible cut can be seen in the head
- Trouble breathing
- Seizures (violent movements with no control)
- Unable to control bladder or bowels
- Numbness or loss of movement (mostly in the limbs)
- Unable to wake up
This injury may require surgery to remove the foreign object in your head, remove part of the skull, or drain fluids to relieve pressure. Relieving pressure alone is important because too much pressure can cause further damage by pushing brain tissue against the skull. Monitoring devices may be placed in your brain to watch pressure levels, temperature, and oxygen levels. Some people also require aftercare like antiseizure medications.