In cartoons when someone gets hit on the head they likely develop a lump that looks – depending on the cartoon – a bit like a golf ball. As surprising as it may seem, that is potentially the best outcome from a knock to the head; it shows that any swelling is occurring on the outside of the head and not pushing on the brain itself. Potentially the worst outcome from a bang on the head is no outward sign of injury.
There are essentially two main types of brain injury: open brain injuries and closed brain injuries. One might think that open brain injuries are more dangerous and potentially life threatening than closed ones, as an open injury suggests that the skull has been broken open and the brain is exposed to the outside world. However, the range and variety of closed brain injuries makes them more difficult to diagnose and then to deal with.
Types of Closed Brain Injuries
Concussion is usually a short-lived loss of proper mental function. Some cases may involve short-term memory loss, blurring of vision and even seeing ‘stars’. It may seem trivial at the time but should always be taken seriously and given proper medical attention as any head injury could be potentially life-threatening.
The next stage of injury is called a contusion, which is essentially a bruise on the outside of the brain. This is caused when the brain is hit against the inside of the skull. The inside of the skull is covered in ridges that can damage the surface of the brain if it comes into contact with it with any force.
A Diffuse Anoxal Injury is the next level of severity during which the brain collides with the ridges on the inside of the skull causing severe bruising or bleeding which can lead to an increase of pressure within the skull. This can cause a reduction in the oxygen supply to the brain that can in turn cause brain damage.
If blood vessels in the head are damaged there is no-where for the blood to go to, and so it can build up and become what’s known as a Subdural Haematoma. This can cause pressure within the brain that has the capacity to cause brain damage if not dealt with swiftly.
One of the most severe outcomes of a head injury is a Subarachnoid Haemorrhage; this is often the result of a blood vessel bursting within the brain. In positive outcomes this can lead to stroke-like symptoms, nausea or convulsions. Sadly the more common outcome is a sudden agonising headache from which most patients do not regain consciousness.
Have you suffered a head injury?
If you or someone you care for has suffered from a brain injury, you should contact one of our solicitors today to find out how we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have years of experience in handling cases like these and will swiftly be able to work out if you have a claim, and if so, how much that claim could be worth.