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The Different Types of Catastrophic Brain Injuries

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on July 5, 2017

Any time there is an injury to the head, it should be taken very seriously. The brain is a delicate organ, and once damaged it can be difficult to repair. A catastrophic brain injury is any type of severe injury to the brain. Typically these are caused by a crushing blow to the head or a penetrating wound. They are often life-threatening.

Types of Catastrophic Brain Injuries

While concussions are the most common brain injury, most people don’t consider them a catastrophic brain injury. And generally, they aren’t. But the extent of concussions is still largely unknown, and it can take years for a person to recover from one. Because of this, severe concussions could be considered a catastrophic brain injury.

Other types of catastrophic brain injuries include:

  • Contusions. A contusion indicates bruising or bleeding on the brain. In the most serious cases, surgery is required to remove large contusions.
  • Coup-contrecoup. This is an injury where contusions are present on both sides of the head. This happens when the brain is struck, forming a contusion at the point of impact, and the brain moves and hits the opposite side, forming a contusion there as well.
  • Diffuse axonal. This is an injury that occurs after the brain is shaken. They happen in car accidents, as well as in shaken baby syndrome. While the skull moves, the brain does not move at exactly the same speed and this can cause tears in the brain and nerve tissue. If nerve tissues are torn, results can be widespread brain damage, coma, or death.
  • Penetration. These injuries are sustained when the brain has been penetrated with a bullet, knife, or other object. Not only can these cause structural and internal brain damage, but penetration can also cause hair, bone fragments, and other debris to make their way into the brain.

Not all catastrophic brain injuries occur because the brain was struck, shaken, or penetrated by an outside object.

  • Anoxic brain injuries are those sustained when the brain does not receive oxygen, even for a short period of time. This can occur with strokes, tumors, or degenerative disease.
  • Hypoxic brain injuries are similar to anoxia injuries, but in these cases the brain still receives a small amount of oxygen.

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, you may be entitled to compensation. These are some of the most difficult injuries to contend with and recover from, and you don’t have to do it on your own. Questions? We have some answers. Call us at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S,. toll-free at (888) 228-3860 and we’ll review your case to see how we can help.

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