Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury: Accidents that Can Alter Your Life

There are many types of brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI), including:

  • Concussion, which is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. This occurs when the blood vessels in the brain are stretched and the cranial nerves are damaged;
  • Contusion, which is bruising and swelling of the tissues of the brain;
  • Coup-Contrecoup injury, which occurs when the brain is slammed into the opposite side of the skull due to the force impact to the head;
  • Diffuse Axonal injury. Also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive head trauma (AHT), this injury is usually caused by violent shaking of the head, resulting to torn brain nerve tissues. This can lead to brain damage or death.
  • Locked in syndrome, which is a rare neurological condition resulting from stroke. Due to damaged part of the brainstem, most of the facial muscles, except the eyes, become paralyzed.
  • Penetrating injury or open head injury, which occurs when a sharp object, like a bullet, enters the brain and causes a wide area of damage. This is injury is serious and is considered a medical emergencies as it can cause ermanent disability or death.
  • Acquired brain injury. This injury to the brain occurs after birth.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. are suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and, every year, about 185,000 are added to their number, while at least 50,000 die. TBI is, actually, a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. Causes of TBI include falls, collision with a moving or a stationary object, assault, accidents involving a bicycle or any non-motorized pedal cycles, a smashed piece of skull penetrating the tissues in the brain, an explosion, a sport or recreation-related accident, a car crash, or anything that can cause a violent blow or a sudden jolt to the head which, in turn, can make the brain collide with the skull’s internal wall. This collision can severely harm the brain and result to torn nerve fibers or bruising and/or bleeding which can lead to intracranial injury, more commonly known as TBI. The severity of a traumatic brain injury depends on the part of the brain that is affected and whether the injured area is widespread or affects only a certain part. Based on severity, TBI can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild TBI usually causes only temporary headaches and confusion; a severe case, however, can cause amnesia, coma, disability, unconsciousness or even death.

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