Posted in Brain Injury on October 27, 2023
Your brain is one of the most important organs in your body. It controls nearly every other organ, and damage to it can be debilitating or even fatal. Even a mild brain injury should be taken seriously and deserves medical attention.
If you or a loved one has suffered a brain injury, the following information can help you determine what legal and medical steps you should take.
There are three levels of severity to brain injuries. You need a doctor to identify how severe your injury is.
With a mild brain injury, you are unlikely to lose consciousness. And if you do lose consciousness, it will probably be for only a few minutes.
This type of injury usually comes with some disorientation. However, mild brain injuries are difficult to detect. Some medical tests won’t identify a mild injury.
A moderate brain injury always includes loss of consciousness that lasts from a few minutes to a few hours. The effects of this type of injury may last for months to years; sometimes, they are permanent. Most complications from a moderate brain injury can be treated, though recovery may take several years.
Severe brain injuries are usually life-threatening. Sometimes, these injuries involve penetration into the skull. They may result in long-term comas. Even if the victim of this type of injury survives, they are likely to face significant lifelong challenges. Treatment can usually help, but the victim’s life is permanently changed.
There are four primary types of brain injuries. Some brain injuries are inherently more severe than others.
The best-known type of brain injury is a concussion. It occurs when the brain is damaged from striking the inside of the skull. Typically, a first concussion tends to be a mild injury. But additional concussions build on each other. And the severity will increase if you experience multiple concussions during your life.
A brain contusion is effectively the next tier of concussion. It is a bruise on the brain, similar to bruises on the skin. This means that blood vessels beneath the surface of the brain have broken.
Contusions may occur when something impacts the skull. A minor brain contusion could be caused by something as simple as falling off a ladder. A serious contusion could be the result of a motorcycle accident.
A penetrating brain injury is rarely minor. It happens when some type of object pierces the brain. Depending on how the injury occurs, the object that pierces the brain may be a portion of the skull.
Regardless of how it occurs, the damage from a penetrating brain injury is usually quite severe and often requires surgery to save the victim’s life.
An anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain receives less oxygen than it needs to function properly. When brain cells are deprived of oxygen, they will die. It doesn’t take long for brain cells to start dying. Typically, damage starts after only four to five minutes of reduced oxygen.
There are several ways that your brain can be deprived of oxygen. Drowning is the most common way this occurs in adults. Newborns may also suffer a type of birth injury where their brain is deprived of oxygen if the doctor isn’t careful during the birth.
If you or a loved one experiences any type of disorientation or head injury, consult a doctor right away. Brain injuries that are left untreated can lead to a lifetime of complications.