Traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain is suddenly subjected to some kind of trauma. It can occur when the brain suffers an injury from being rapidly and forcefully thrust against the skull, such as during an automobile accident. It also can happen when something penetrates the brain, such as when a bullet enters the skull and the brain.
The suddenness and destructive quality of the injury makes it especially difficult to adapt to, both for the patient and family. One moment a person is perfectly fine, the next instant life is forever changed. Many situations can cause traumatic brain injury. In addition, the damage from the injury can range from mild to severe.
Some examples of traumatic injury include:
- The head being drastically shaken or pushed into an object, such as during a car crash or a hard tackle on the football field
- Diving into a swimming pool and hitting your head on the bottom
- Other types of athletic injury
- A bullet entering the brain
- A crushing injury that causes a part of the skull to enter the brain, such as falling from somewhere especially high and hitting your head when you land, crushing the skull
What Are the Types of Traumatic Brain Injury?
The causes of traumatic brain injury can be divided into closed head injuries and open head injuries. In the case of closed head injuries, which can result from a car crash or serious fall, the damage can be in a specific area of the brain but the damage to the nerves tends to be diffuse or cover a large area of the brain. The skull is not penetrated in a closed head injury.
When a patient has an open head injury, such as from a bullet, the damage is usually limited to a specific area of the brain, the skull is penetrated by a damaging object, and the effects can be as serious as those of a closed brain injury.
What Research is Being Done on Traumatic Brain Injury?
Scientists at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health conduct research on traumatic brain injury. There they do laboratory research as well as conduct studies involving patients. The purpose of the studies is to improve the understanding of science and medicine of the biological mechanisms that underlie brain injury.
The research will help doctors develop ways to intervene when traumatic brain injury occurs, and methods for limiting the kinds of brain damage that happens in the days after a person has experienced head trauma. The studies will also assist in the development of new treatments and help in the long-term recovery of the patient’s ability to function.
When Negligence Causes TBI
If another person’s negligence or recklessness results in a serious brain injury, he or she should be held accountable. Our traumatic brain injury lawyers help people and families that are affected by negligence seek compensation to pay for expensive medical bills and lost wages. We may be able to help you.