More About Brain & Spinal Injuries

What are the types of head injuries?

There are several types of head injuries. If the trauma results in damage to the skull itself, such as a crack or break, the trauma is considered a penetrating head injury. More difficult to diagnose are closed head injuries, where the skull is not obviously damaged but the brain is still injured. This can occur from a blow or impact, or from severe back-and-forth shaking, such as whiplash. Babies and small children can suffer such injuries from being shaken, known as “shaken baby syndrome.”

What are the signs of a brain injury?

A medical professional should evaluate anyone who has sustained a blow to the head or whiplash-like injuries to determine if the victim has experienced a TBI. Even if symptoms are so slight that the victim does not realize that a serious injury has occurred, treatment should be sought before further injury can develop. Often the symptoms may be delayed for many hours until swelling in the brain reaches a point that it begins to affect the victim.

Some signs and symptoms to look for include:

Physical Symptoms: Dizziness, loss of balance, headaches, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision, drowsiness, and confusion.

Mental Cognitive Symptoms: Intermittent disorientation, amnesia, short-term memory loss, poor judgment, and poor concentration

Emotional Symptoms: Depression, agitation, irritability, apathy, confrontational attitude, explosive temper, fearfulness and impatience, personality changes in general, and sleep (early morning awakening) and appetite disturbances

What are the possible long-term problems?

TBI can cause serious, life-threatening events and can result in permanent, irreversible damage to the brain. With severe brain injuries, the impairments are obvious and profound. They can result in paralysis, weakness or abnormalities including loss of sensation, coordination or intellectual capacity. The more difficult, often overlooked cases are those where neurological and mental changes are subtle.

These may happen as a result of what appears to be a minor accident in which the brain is jarred. Symptoms, called soft signs, begin to appear afterwards, sometimes after long periods of time. In either case, a TBI can have a profound effect on quality of life, including inability to work, inability to interact with friends and family and loss of body function. If you see any of these signs, contact the Ontario, Canada brain injury lawyers at Cariati Law immediately.

Relevant terminology:

Concussion Occurs: When the head receives a trauma and the brain is jarred inside the skull, which can end in a period of confusion
Retrograde Amnesia: Loss of memory of events that preceded the injury
Anterograde Amnesia: Loss of forward memory after the injury
Brain Contusion: A bruise to the brain
Focal Injury: An injury to one part of the brain leaving the other parts intact
Diffuse Injury: Denotes widespread damage
Countercoup Injury: Brain damage occurring at the side of the brain opposite the trauma, caused by the cerebral spinal fluid drifting backwards. If the blow is hard enough, it forces the brain against the back of the skull.