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Brain and Spinal Injury




Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury TBI



Our independent referral service can provide you with access to top U.S lawyers who will fight for your rights to compensation. If you have suffered a traumatic brain injury (also known as TBI), as a result of an accident, you may be entitled to a compensation payout. Complete the Contact Form to get free legal advice for your case.


What is Traumatic Brain Injury TBI?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI is the abbreviation), occurs when an incident causes the head to hit into something suddenly and with great intensity or the head is hit with an object, or an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain.


Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury TBI

The symptoms of TBI can range from mild to severe. This all depends on the severity of the damage to the brain. Not all blows to the head are considered traumatic brain injury; only injuries that result in damage to the brain are considered TBI.


What are the types of Traumatic Brain Injury TBI?

It used to be that TBI was either open skull or closed skull. These terms are no longer used as they do not accurately describe the way the brain is injured. There are three basic types of traumatic brain injury and a single blow to the head can result in one or more of these types of injuries.


Brain bleed from trauma

The first type of traumatic brain injury results from bruising or bleeding of the brain. This type of injury occurs when the brain is slammed into the skull and blood vessels break and bleed into the skull cavity. There is not a lot of room for extra fluid in and around the brain. The skull being a fixed, solid object does not expand readily, thus any additional fluid as in the form of blood from an injury has no place to go and it can cause a lot of pressure on the brain. Pressure causes the brain to squeeze and brain cells can be damaged, including those parts of the brain that control vital processes such as breathing and your heart. Many times people with this type of brain injury do not notice it right away. It may be many hours later when the person first notices that they have a headache, or are dizzy or lightheaded. This is why the medical profession strongly recommends that anyone who has suffered an injury to the head or who has been in a car crash see a physician immediately. You may be suffering from a brain bleed from trauma.


Brain tear

The next type of traumatic brain injury is tearing. This is when the soft brain tissues actually tears, causing serious injury to the brain. This is not like a cut into firm tissue. The brain has a consistency slightly firmer than Jell-O. When a tear results the brain falls back into its original form although the tear is still there. Usually these brain tears occur at a microscopic level. Every tear in the brain results in the cutting of a neurotransmission (a severing of the brain's wiring). Even the tiniest brain tear causes a break in these transmissions. Unfortunately, MRI and CT-scans (CAT Scans) will not accurately detect small areas of tearing. There is only 15% accuracy in finding small tears in the brain with these tests. This is part of the reason why this type of TBI is so serious.


Swelling on the brain

Swelling is the final type of traumatic brain injury. This occurs when there is actually swelling around the brain. If you were to hit your hand with a hammer, the area around the injury would bruise and begin to swell up as the body's defenses act to control the damage. The same situation occurs in the brain, however, due to a lack of space there is little to no room available for swelling to occur. Any amount of swelling will start to put pressure onto the brain. This pressure results in the compression of the brain tissue. Any compression of this tissue can result in damage to the brain.


Diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is sometimes difficult to diagnose. As stated above MRI and CT-Scans, do not always accurately diagnose small areas of tearing to the brain. X-rays can show damage to the skull but it is ineffective in diagnosing damage to the brain tissue.  However, improvements in MRI technology called functional MRI, has increased the ability to use MRI to diagnose and treat areas of the brain that control memory, speech, vision and movement.  The CT scan can be used safely in situations that make an MRI impossible such as if the patient has a pacemaker or metal inside the body (such as plates or pins). X-rays will help in showing damage to the skull, which will confirm a head injury and the possible areas of the brain that could have suffered damage. Many times TBI goes undetected until the person starts to complain about symptoms. This is why it is so important to seek medical treatment any time an injury to the head occurs.


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