Types Of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are different. The different forms of brain injuries are based on the amount of force and the nature of force that impacts the head. Traumatic brain injuries could affect one area of the brain, certain functional areas, or even all areas of the brain.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injury

1. Concussion
Concussions occur when an abrupt movement or momentum change or impact affects the brain. This may cause blood vessels of the brain to stretch, or damage the cranial nerves. Concussions can also be caused by gunshot wounds, direct blows to the head, a whiplash type of injury, or violent shaking of the head.

Both open and closed types of brain injuries can produce a concussion. The victim may remain conscious but feel “punch drunk” or “dazed” or may experience a brief loss of consciousness lasting less than 20 minutes. Some concussions can lead to substantial impairments and difficulties that could last up to a lifetime. Such impairments can be alleviated or eased through rehabilitation. But there are patients who are released from treatment without rehabilitation or guidance of any kind.

2. Contusion

This is a bruise or bleeding of the brain. It can be caused by a direct impact to the head of the individual. Surgery might be needed to remove larger contusions.

3. Diffuse Axonal Injury

This is typically caused by strong rotation or shaking of the head, just with the Shaken Baby Syndrome. It can also be caused by rotational forces on the head, such as ones experienced in a vehicle accident. The injuries are caused by the unmoving nature of the brain, which remains intact behind the movement of the skull. This causes the structures of the brain to tear.

If there’s an extensive tearing of nerve tissue in the brain, it might lead to the release of brain chemicals, disrupting the natural chemical and communication processes in the brain, leading to additional injury. This disturbance might lead to temporal or permanent brain damage, coma, and even death.

4. Coup Contrecoup

This injury describes contusions located at the site of impact, or at the complete opposite side of the brain. In most cases, this happens when the force impacting the brain is great enough to not only cause a contusion at the site of impact, but also cause the brain to slam onto the other side of the skull leading to additional contusion.

5. Penetration

Penetrating injuries typically occur from an impact of a knife, bullet, or sharp objects that forces skin, hair, bone, and other fragments to penetrate the brain. For objects travelling at a slower speed, the brain and the skull can ricochet within the skull, widening the area of damage.

Overall, firearms are the major cause of death from traumatic brain injuries. The devastating traumatic brain injuries resulting from bullet wounds cause an overall 91% deaths rate from firearms.