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Understanding the types and symptoms of a traumatic brain injury

Suffering a serious injury in an accident could significantly impact the life of a victim. One serious injury is a traumatic brain injury. The seriousness of this injury is not only apparent because it affects a vital organ but also because an individual could suffer a head injury without initially being aware of it. This is why it is important to understand what this type of injury looks like and how it could impact the life of the victim.

There are two common types, or forms, that injury traumatic brain injury can comes in. First, there are penetrating injuries. This occurs when the victim suffers a head trauma due to a foreign object penetrating their brain. The route of the object entering and possibly exiting their brain could result in focal or localized damage to the brain. The symptoms vary when this occurs because it is dependent on the part or area of the brain damaged in the accident.

Second, a victim could suffer a closed head injury. This occurs when they suffer a blow to the head such as their head striking the dashboard or windshield in a car accident. There are two types of brain damage that could result in this type of head injury, which are primary brain damage and secondary brain damage.

Primary brain damage occurs at the time of impact. The traumatic brain injury is apparent at the time of the incident and could be caused by a skull fracture, contusions, hematomas, lacerations, nerve damage and other similar damaging injuries.

Secondary brain damage does not evolve until after the trauma experienced in the accident. This often includes brain swelling, intracranial pressure, epilepsy, infection, fever, hematoma, drastic changes in blood pressure, anemia, lung changes, cardiac changes, low sodium and other similar symptoms that could develop over time.

Understanding traumatic brain injuries not only ensures that victims get the necessary medical care, but helps them avoid future health issues. It is important for victims of an accident to seek medical care in order to rule out potential brain injuries. Furthermore, the evidence of any medical care required after the accident could help the victim with a personal injury claim.

Source: Asha.org, "Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)," accessed on Oct. 13, 2014

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