Recent figures reveal about 210,000 Florida residents live with a disability related to a traumatic brain injury. It helps to learn some facts about the causes, symptoms and types of this type of a serious injury.
Overview of TBI
A traumatic brain injury occurs when a sharp blow or jolt to the skull interrupts normal brain function. The two main causes of brain injuries are falls, especially young children and adults 65 and older, and auto accidents. While a TBI can happen to anyone, certain groups are at a higher risk, which includes service members, rural populations and the homeless.
An open TBI pierces the skull and may break bones, which often occurs from flying debris or metal. A closed TBI does not penetrate the skull, but can still cause fractures, bruising and swelling.
Types of TBIs
A concussion is a mild TBI that commonly causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and balance and vision issues. While a brief loss of awareness often happens after a concussion, it is not always present. Concussions commonly do not have a lasting impact, and patients can heal in several weeks with medical attention.
A diffuse axonal injury causes the brain to move inside the skull, which damages the axons or long nerve fibers. It is more serious TBI that may cause a loss of consciousness lasting up to six hours and an ongoing vegetative state.
A coup-contracoup injury occurs when the damage occurs on the opposite side of impact and the site of impact. A contusion is a bruise on the brain that often causes moderate bleeding and swelling below the skin.
Even a mild TBI may require temporary lifestyle adjustments and rehabilitation and expensive medical treatment. If the brain injury was caused by the negligence of another party, the victim may be able to file a lawsuit.