Every day in the US, there are an average of 166 deaths related to traumatic brain injuries. While the severity of some injuries becomes apparent immediately, some take years to show their full effects. When you are faced with a head injury, would you be able to spot how serious it actually is?
Knowing the signs can mean the difference between life and death. Read on as we discuss the must-know guide on the types of head injuries.
A skull fracture is a very common type of head trauma. It occurs when there is a crack or break in the skull and its bones.
In some cases, the skull can push inwards and press against the surface of the brain. This is known as a depressed skull fracture. A bruise may even form on the surface of the brain under the point where the fracture occurred, known as a contusion.
A hematoma is one of the most serious brain injuries. Blood vessels under the skull tear during an accident, leaving blood to leak into the skull cavity. There are several different types of hematoma.
As the blood vessel bleeds, it collects between the skull and the outer layers of the brain (Dura). If the blood presses on the brain, it can cause a loss of boy and brain functions and in some cases, death.
Acute subdural hematomas are similar to an epidural, though they develop much quicker. This head trauma tends to occur after a large sudden impact, such as an automobile crash or an assault. It will result in a person falling unconscious or in around 50% of cases can lead to death.
Chronic Subdural Hematoma
Chronic subdural hematomas are slow to form. As they release sporadically, they can occur in several places and bleeding can come at different times. They occur after minor head injuries and can develop over a period of around six weeks.
Intracranial hematomas occur when the blood under the skull forms a clot. They are grouped according to where they form and can range from mild to severe.
A concussion occurs immediately after head trauma and will manifest as a form of confusion. Other symptoms can include vomiting, dizziness, memory loss, seizures, and a loss of coordination. A concussion occurs when an impact causes the brain to hit against the inside of the skull and can range from mild to severe.
When you suspect a concussion, it is important to keep the injured person awake. For around an hour, you should make sure they do not get worse. If they become drowsy or unconscious then it could be a sign of a much more serious problem.
What to Do After a Head Injury
A head injury, even if it seems minor, is a very serious problem. The danger lies in the fact that serious head trauma is not always visible. Major problems could occur in the weeks following the injury.
In all instances, medical help should be sought. If the person is laid down, then don’t move them. Should they be wearing any sort of helmet, do not remove it.
There may be damage to the spinal column as well as the head. Moving them can make this much worse. If the person is up and moving around, lay them down with the head slightly elevated until you can get medical assistance.
If the person is bleeding, then apply pressure to the wound with a cloth or gauze to stop bleeding. When you suspect a fracture, don’t apply pressure. You could cause damage to the inside of the head and brain.
Check the persons breathing and alertness. If they are not breathing then you should perform CPR. Don’t worry about the other steps, as it is much more important to keep them alive.
Head Injury Treatment
When you visit the hospital with a head injury, a range of treatments may be administered. It is important not to eat or drink until the medical professional says you can. You’ll be under observation and they may give you mild painkillers.
More serious injuries may result in an x-ray of the head and neck area if you are feeling pain there. In extreme cases a CT scan will be done of the head and brain, to identify areas of trauma and bleeding.
Rehabilitation After Traumatic Head Injuries
In the event your brain injury is severe, then you may need rehabilitation. What this involves will depend entirely on your circumstances, and they may be too many scenarios to list here. In fact, you may end up working with a number of healthcare providers and professionals.
Overseeing this will be a designated individual known as the case coordinator. In conjunction with them and your family, the first step will be to decide on where your rehabilitation should take place. Options include home-based rehab to inpatient, outpatient, day programs, and independent living centers.
Individual programs will rarely focus on one area. Physical therapy and medicines are common, along with occupational therapy, speech and language assistance, and psychological or psychiatric care.
What Happens When Rehab Ends?
After a thorough assessment, you may find rehab has ended and you can resume a normal life. How long the rehabilitation period lasts and the follow-up care you need all depends on your injury and the progress made. Some people may need lifetime care, while others may be back to how they were before.
Traumatic brain injury can have long-term effects. Some symptoms may not show up until years later, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Types of Head Injuries
Rehabilitation caused by any of the types of head injuries mentioned will require financial backup. Even if the injury is minor, someone else could be liable. In these cases, you need great legal representation.
Mitchell Ozeri should be your first stop. You will pay nothing unless we win your head injury case. Contact us here to discuss your needs and let us help you on the road to recovery.