What are the Main Types of Brain Injuries?

January 24, 2018

Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, are some of the most serious personal injuries possible. TBIs are most common in falls, car accidents, sports collisions, and acts of violence. There are many ways injuries to your brain can happen, from external impacts such as hitting your head on the ground to lack of oxygen to the brain during surgery. The type of injury and subsequent symptoms depend on the incident, impact, and individual. No two TBIs are exactly the same, but they do tend to fall into certain categories.

#1. Concussion

A concussion is the most common type of TBI. It happens when an impact or sudden momentum change causes trauma to the brain. The brain can sustain bruises, or hematomas, as well as suffer blood vessel and cranial nerve damage. Concussions can range from mild to severe. Symptoms can vary significantly from person to person but may include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Behavior changes

It’s important to go to the hospital after any incident that involved your head. Even a minor blow to the head could result in harm to the brain. The only cure for a concussion is time. Patients with concussions must wait weeks or months for the injury to fully heal. Getting another concussion before the first has healed can lead to even worse injury, permanent brain damage or even death.

#2. Anoxic Brain Injury

This type of brain injury describes any incident in which the brain loses its supply of oxygen. Parts of the brain or the entire organ can lose oxygen if something interrupts the supply. Oxygen is vital to the functioning of the brain. Lack of oxygen, even for a short period of time, can lead to the death of brain cells and permanent brain damage. Anoxic brain injuries can happen in accidental drownings, anesthesia errors, carbon monoxide poisoning, birth injuries, suffocation, drug overdose, choking, or stroke.

#3. Cerebral Contusion

A cerebral contusion is another word for a bruise on the brain. Cerebral contusions happen most often from blows or blunt force trauma to the head. A contusion results from ruptured blood capillaries in the brain. This type of traumatic brain injury can impact mental function, causing long-term symptoms such as confusion or cognitive difficulties. In serious cases, contusions can cause brain herniation, which is life-threatening. More mild contusions typically heal on their own without permanent damage.
Some common causes of cerebral contusions are:

  • Car Accidents
  • Work Injuries
  • Sports Injuries
  • Slip & Fall Accidents

#4. Diffuse Axonal Injury

If you’ve heard the phrase, “Shaken Baby Syndrome,” then you know an example of diffuse axonal injuries. This type of TBI happens if something shakes or dramatically rotates the head and brain. Sometimes car accidents can have enough gravitational force on the head to cause a diffuse axonal injury. In these injuries, the skull moves faster than the brain, causing the brain’s delicate structures and nerve tissues (such as the brain stem) to tear. This can cause chemicals in the brain to release and cause further injury. Diffuse axonal injuries are very serious and can cause temporary to permanent brain damage, disability, or death.
When something injures the brain, several different types of harms can occur. These are just a few out of dozens of possible TBIs. If you or a loved one has suffered a TBI in San Diego, contact our San Diego brain injury attorney team right away. You could be eligible for significant recovery. Call us for a free consultation today! (619) 295-0035