What are the Major Types of Head Injuries?

When discussing head injuries, there are certain terms that you will hear thrown around. Particularly, people often use the term “head injury” and “brain injury” interchangeably. However, these are actually two separate things, though they can often both happen at the same time due to the same incident. In general, head injuries can be divided into two categories – those that happen due to blows to the head and those that happen due to shaking.

The most common causes of head and brain injuries include:

There are many types of head and brain injuries that can occur due to these incidents. This can include:

  • Penetrating wounds. This can occur with anything that penetrates the skull, such as a bullet, nails, knives, or other sharp objects.
  • Skull fractures. This type of wound can occur anytime there is blunt force trauma to the head. A skull fracture is common in motor vehicle accidents, violence, falls, etc.
  • Internal Hemorrhage. Any blow to the head can cause bleeding in the space around the brain or within the brain itself.
  • Hematoma. This is the clotting of blood around the outside of the brain or within the brain itself and can cause a pressure build-up inside the skull.
  • Edema. This refers to the swelling that can occur to the brain after blunt force trauma or a penetrating wound injury. Severe swelling can lead to pressure build-up in the skull
  • Concussions. A concussion refers to a mild traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head is rapidly moved forward and backward or side to side, causing the brain to strike the inside of the skull.

How does a head injury cause a brain injury?

It is not uncommon for a head injury to cause mild or severe brain injuries. While the human skull does a good job protecting our brains in most cases, high-impact incidents and penetrating wound injuries to the head will inevitably affect the brain. Just like other parts of our body, the brain will swell when it is damaged. However, the skull does not expand to accommodate the swelling. Without immediate medical intervention in cases of a head injury, the brain can sustain long-lasting damage.

What are the effects of a head and brain injury?

When an injury occurs that affects only the outside of the head, the prognosis is generally fairly positive. Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal, especially from surface wounds. Head injury may leave scarring or disfigurement but generally will not cause long-term impairment.

However, a brain injury is a different story. Injuries to the brain can lead to severe long-term impairment. This can include impairment to a person’s cognitive, physical, and behavioral capabilities.

Cognitive symptoms of brain injuries can include:

  • Trouble processing information
  • Difficulty expressing thoughts
  • Difficulty understanding others or reading emotions
  • Lowered attention span
  • Trouble making decisions
  • Memory loss

Physical symptoms of a brain injury can include:

  • Constant headaches
  • Persistent mental fatigue
  • Extreme physical fatigue
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sleep disorders
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis
  • Tremors
  • Seizures

Behavioral symptoms of a brain injury can include:

  • Impatience and irritability with others
  • New aggressive behavior
  • Reduced stress tolerance
  • Lowered or heightened emotions or reactions to situations
  • Denial of any disability caused by the brain injury

If you have experienced a traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of another, contact the Orange County brain injury lawyer at Aitken * Aitken * Cohn.