What are the Most Common Types of Brain Injury?

The brain is the most complex organ in the human body and it can be injured in many, many different ways. A person with a brain injury to that is the same or similar to another person’s, may not necessarily suffer the same effects of it.

All brains are unique even though they are “designed” to function the same way and thus, all brain injuries are unique.

The type of brain injury a brain injury victim suffers is dependant on many factors including the type of force and the amount of it, and/or what kind of impact caused the injury.

Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

Traumatic brain injuries affect as many as 1.7 million people each year and can claim as many as 52,000 lives annually. There are many different kinds of brain injuries that fall under the category of TBI and overall, TBIs are the most common kind of brain injury.

In the context of a traumatic brain injury, the term trauma refers to the physical trauma of a blow or other impact to the head. Some TBIs are considered to be relatively minor and cause only short term symptoms whereas a major TBI can cause massive brain damage that can undermine the survivor’s ability to function for a long and undetermined amount of time or for the duration of their life.

Common traumatic brain injuries include but are not limited to:

– Concussions

– Contusions

– Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injuries

– Diffuse Axonal Injuries

– Penetrating Injuries

– Second Impact Syndrome

– Shaken Baby Syndrome

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)

Acquired brain injuries result from damage to the brain that is not caused by an external force. Common causes of ABI include but are not limited to:

– Anoxia

– Degenerative diseases

– Hypoxia

– Near drowning

– Oxygen deprivation

– Strokes

– Tumors

– Toxins

Levels of Brain Injury

Brain injuries are often categorized with the causes, symptoms and diagnoses compiled into different levels.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

While many people experience a brief loss of consciousness or do not lose consciousness but feel dazed and confused directly following a mild traumatic brain Injury, a mild TBI may go undiagnosed. Testing and scans of the brain may appear normal. When a person experiences a change in mental status at the time of an injury, is when a mild TBI is typically diagnosed. A concussion is an example of a mild TBI.

Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury

These kinds of injuries usually result from a non-penetrating blow to the head and/or from a violent shaking of the head. Moderate TBIs typically happen as the result of a loss of consciousness from a few minutes to a few hours where the patient’s confusion last from a few days to weeks. Physical, cognitive and behavioral impairments can be permanent or last for months.

Severe Brain Injury

Severe brain injuries typically result from crushing blows and blunt force traumas or penetrating wounds to the head and kneck. Severe brain injuries are usually life threatening and require heroic measures to treat them and keep patients with them alive. Patients who survive severe brain injuries can regain functions but often remain incapictated throughout the rest of their lives.

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