Primary brain injuries refer to the sudden injury the brain can incur right at the time of an impact. Secondary brain injuries refer to the changes that occur over the hours and days following a primary brain injury. This includes changes at the chemical, tissue, cellular, or blood vessel levels that contribute to further injury and damage.
Most Common Types of Brain Injuries
There are a wide range of types and severity of brain injuries. Severe brain injuries can rob victims of the power of speech, cognitive function, mobility, or even be fatal. However, even ‘mild’ brain injuries can dramatically affect a victim’s life, especially if they are repeated.
Concussions are the most common type of brain injury a person sustains. These injuries occur as a result of vehicle accidents, sports injuries, slip and fall incidents, and other blows to the head. A concussion is considered a mild traumatic brain injury. Concussions can cause memory issues, disorientation, concentration problems, and headaches. Repeated concussions can lead to serious long-term damage, just look to the NFL CTE litigation as an example.
Brain contusions refer to a bruise on the brain, similar to a bruise a person may get on their skin. However, unlike most bruises, brain contusions are more severe. When we receive a regular bruise on the outside of our body, any blood that leaks away from the injury site can diffuse to the rest of the body. However, when a brain contusion occurs, this can lead to a buildup of intracranial pressure under the skull. Similar to concussions, brain contusions can be caused by any impact to the head.
Anoxic brain injuries
Individuals sustain an anoxic brain injury if their brain does not receive enough oxygen. A lack of oxygen to the brain can lead to brain cell death within four to five minutes after oxygen flow is halted. There are various ways that anoxic brain injuries can occur, including any type of incident that prevents oxygenated blood from flowing to the brain. This can include traumatic injuries that lead to significant bleeding, or chemicals that inhibit oxygen transfer inside the blood, suffocation, and medical emergencies such as strokes or heart attacks.
Regardless of the type of injury or how the injury occurred, victims and their families likely face a difficult road to recovery and a lifetime of financial costs. If the injury was caused by a careless or negligent party or entity, compensation may be available through a personal injury lawsuit.