One of the worst forms of damage that a patient can sustain after a car crash is a brain injury. But, other things can cause this medical condition. Is it possible to sustain brain injury upon birth? How about a sudden head impact, like accidentally hitting the head on the wall or a low-rise ceiling?
Brain injury can be caused by different contributory factors, which will be discussed in detail below.
1. Head Injuries Caused By Car Accidents
One of the common causes of brain injury is a car accident. The signs and symptoms may not be apparent. The patient’s senses, such as sight, taste, and hearing can be altered. One example is blurry vision.
Even without visible marks or wounds on the head, there are ways to detect a seeming injury to the brain. This blog post on Peddicord & Townsend’s website tackles the signs and symptoms of brain injury.
The most serious types of vehicle accidents that could cause brain injury include head-on collision or two vehicles crashing against each other, bumper to bumper, or running off the road collision or a vehicle leaving the roadway, and then striking a fixed object, like a light pole or a concrete barrier.
The following are the different types of head injuries one may suffer from a car accident that may lead to brain injury:
- Concussion: It’s a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the brain strikes the skull’s interior due to a sudden change in momentum or movement, like a car crash. Concussion signs and symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, light-headedness or feeling dazed, and ringing in the ears or tinnitus. It may also cause slurred speech, confusion, amnesia, personality changes, and temporary loss of consciousness.
- Contusion: It’s a head injury that causes a bruise on the brain, resulting from a direct head impact. Contusions can occur when the driver’s head is struck by an external object or hits a fixed object upon impact, like the window or steering wheel. The signs and symptoms of contusions include difficulty concentrating, numbness in the affected area, difficulty balancing, cognitive changes, and slurred speech.
- Penetrating Head Wound: It occurs when an object penetrates the skull. This injury can be fatal or cause severe complications, like a seizure, heavy blood loss, loss of sensation or movement, bleeding from the ears, loss of bladder and bowel function, and coma.
- Diffuse Axonal Injury: This type of head injury occurs because of a severe shaking or rotation of the head when the car stops abruptly, and the brain not moving with the skull in a high-speed car accident. Diffuse axonal injury causes brain injury because of the tearing of brain structures. This head injury’s signs and symptoms include headache, fatigue, vomiting, dizziness, and loss of consciousness.
- Coup-Contrecoup Injury: It occurs when the brain jerks abruptly within the skull, usually caused by an extremely forceful car accident, like a rollover collision. The brain suddenly strikes both the skull’s inner sides, resulting in brain damage, causing bleeding in the brain and loss of consciousness.
2. Falls And Slips
Falls and slips may cause brain injury that may lead to temporary or total paralysis or brain damage, bounding a patient to a wheelchair or bed permanently. The patient needs to seek emergency medical intervention within 72 hours after a fall or slip accident. See a family doctor, or go to a walk-in clinic or an emergency room.
Just because there’s no visible damage on the head doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no injury inside. Watch any fall or slip victim closely for signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury. The doctor usually discovers brain injury through CT or MRI scans to determine the severity.
Check the following possible damages of brain injury:
- Focal Brain Damage: It’s usually found in the frontal and temporal lobes, or the brain’s front or sides.
- Diffuse Injuries: This type of brain damage presents a double-headed monster with more spread-out damage. These injuries present physical, emotional, and mental hardships.
3. Birth Head Injury
Some infants undergo forceps delivery wherein the attendant uses forceps to help the baby out of the mother’s birth canal for different reasons, such as oversized babies. About six to eight injuries occur per 1000 live births in the United States, in which the most susceptible to birth trauma are larger infants.
Babies born prematurely may suffer from a lack of oxygen or asphyxiation, resulting in brain damage. Medical negligence, such as letting the baby slip off the hands during normal delivery, may also cause the baby to fall on the floor, causing brain injury.
4. Non-Traumatic Brain Injuries
Nontraumatic brain injuries are also called acquired brain injuries not caused by trauma. Here are some examples of nontraumatic brain injuries:
- Anoxic And Hypoxic: These non-traumatic brain injuries are damages caused to the brain cells because of lack of oxygen.
- Brain Infections And Inflammation: Bacteria can cause infections and injury to the brain, such as meningitis.
- Stroke: It occurs when the brain is depleted with oxygen because of a blood clot, causing brain injury occurs.
- Tumor: Growing brain cancer tumor and cancer-related illnesses may cause brain injury.
There are many types of brain injury, including acquired brain injury or injury to the brain since birth, and traumatic brain injury caused by assault or road traffic accidents. It’s always best to know the factors so as to address brain injury in its early stages.