Types Of Brain Injuries

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The blanket term brain injury applies to any injury to the brain, whether it is a blow to the head, a penetrating injury, or some action which resulting in the brain impacting against the skull. These types of injuries are referred to as traumatic brain injuries.
This is not the only type of brain injury, however. Brain injury can also be incurred through a lack of blood or oxygen flow to the brain, such as after a near-drowning accident or other obstruction of the airways. In these cases, the injury is referred to as an acquired brain injury. Acquired brain injuries occur on the cellular level and cause brain damage without a blow or impact to the actual brain. This type of injury may also be sustained from a stroke, heart attack, shock or even an extended high fever.
In the case of traumatic brain injuries, the patient has usually been involved in a fall or automobile accident, or was the victim of an assault. Shaken Baby Syndrome is a type of traumatic brain injury in which no outside impact is needed to cause damage. The act of shaking a baby can cause the brain to crash into the skull internally, with catastrophic results.
Concussions are another form of acquired brain injury; concussions are not necessarily the result of a direct result, but can result from falls or sports.
Acquired brain injury may appear less serious than traumatic brain injuries at first; however, the ramifications may be more debilitating, depending on the nature of the injury. With any brain injury, both traumatic and acquired, the severity can vary. In mild cases, the effects can be temporary, and a full recovery can be reached in a relatively short period of time. In moderate cases, the patient may still have a full recovery, but the process is likely to be longer and some symptoms, such as slurred speech and motor dysfunction, may never completely diminish. Severe cases of brain injury can result in permanent disability or even death.
There are several levels of brain injury. The symptoms that are exhibited after an injury can be useful in determining the level of the injury.
Mild Brain Injury is indicated when there is a change in the mental status at the time the injury took place. The change in mental state is indicative of the person's altered brain function. Also known as a concussion, symptoms of mild brain injury include:
brief loss of consciousness
the appearance of being dazed or confused
testing or scans of the brain may be normal

Moderate Brain Injury does not have to be entirely debilitating; instead, victims of moderate brain injury can typically make a good recovery with rehabilitation, or learn to live independently despite any deficiencies. Symptoms of moderate brain injury include:
loss of consciousness
confusion that lasts several days or weeks
physical, mental and/or behavioral impairments that are permanent or last for months

Severe: Occurs when unconsciousness or coma lasts days, weeks, or months. Severe injury is split into sub-categories, including coma, vegetative state, persistent vegetative state, minimally responsive state, akinetic mutism and locked-in syndrome. People who sustain a severe brain injury have the ability to make significant improvements, but are often left with a physical, mental, or behavioral impairment.
Severe cases can completely change the life of the patient or even be fatal. These types of injuries can result in a coma or vegetative state as well as brain death. If someone in your family has sustained a severe, debilitating brain injury, it is extremely important that you consult with a brain injury attorney immediately. An attorney can help determine negligence and the possibility of winning a lawsuit and receiving compensation, and can also advise you regarding some of the legal issues surrounding severe brain injuries, including battles over living wills, organ donation, and ultimately the decision to continue or discontinue life support.


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