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Understanding the primary variety of brain injuries

When it comes to traumatic brain injuries, there are those which result from primary injuries and those which are considered to have resulted from secondary factors. Of the two types of primary injuries, there is an open, penetrating type and a closed, non-penetrating of injury.

Some examples of primary brain injuries include contusions, also known as brain bruising or bleeds, concussions, skull fractures, lacerations and diffuse axonal injury. While, for an example, it's clear what a skull fracture consists of, other injuries may not be as well understood.

For example, when it comes to a contusion, the fact that your brain becomes either bruised or bleeds can ultimately lead to blood clots within your brain's meningeal layers or its sub-cortical or cortical structures. Lacerations are defined as tears to an individual's brain tissue or blood vessels, and concussions are thought of as a low velocity type of injury. Each can impact a patient's cognitive functioning.

As for diffuse axonal types of brain injuries, they are caused by the patient enduring some type of catastrophic shearing force. That force has the effect of tearing a patient's nerve fibers within the tracts where their brain's white matter lives.

As for open-head or penetrating brain injuries, they are caused by foreign objects whether they be bullets, knives, tools or something else. They have the potential to not only fracture the skull, but tear meninges as well become becoming lodged in and damaging brain tissue.

In contrast, a non-penetrating or closed-head type of brain injury does not involve any direct impact to the brain. They are, however, broken down into the non-accelerated and accelerated varieties. Acceleration injuries are caused by the brain being moved about inside an individual's unrestrained head quickly, as is the case with a whiplash. An acceleration injury can result in a contusion if the force is strong enough.

A non-accelerated injury is one in which a head is indeed restrained and therefore any impact with the skull doesn't result in acceleration or deceleration as may be the case with other instances involving force. An example of this type of injury, a blow to an individual's head, damage can occur to an individual's meninges and brain as a result of a fracture to the skull.

If someone you know has suffered a traumatic brain injury, an attorney may be able to provide additional insight into your legal matter.

Source: American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, "Common Classifications of TBI," accessed March 31, 2017

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