March was Brain Injury Awareness Month, but maintaining brain health is important to consider year round. AZ Injury Law is taking this opportunity to bring attention to preventing Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and to promote strategies to improve the quality of for persons living with TBI.
There are two types of acquired brain injury – traumatic and non-traumatic.
A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology, caused by external force. Traumatic impact injuries can be defined as closed (non-penetrating) or open (penetrating).
Often referred to as an acquired brain injury, a non-traumatic brain injury causes damage to the brain by internal factors, such as lack of oxygen, exposure to toxins, or pressure from a tumor.
In our practice we see and help many victims of TBI. Common causes often trigger negligence or products liability claims, they include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Gunshot wounds
- Industrial and workplace injuries
- Domestic violence and abuse
- Sports and other recreational injuries
A traumatic brain injury involves violent contact between the brain and the skull that houses it. Depending on the type of trauma and the different forces exerted on the brain, different diagnoses apply. These diagnosis types include diffuse axonal injury, concussion/mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), contusion, and coup-contrecoup.
Immediately following a brain injury, two things occur. First, brain tissue reacts to the trauma from the injury with a series of biochemical and other physiological responses. Substances that were safely housed within these cells now flood the brain causing cellular level damage. Second, depending on the severity of the brain injury, effects may include temporary loss of consciousness or coma, breathing problems, and/or damaged motor functions. Brain injury is classified as mild, moderate, or severe.
Just as no two people are exactly alike, no two brain injuries are exactly alike. Early therapy and intervention is key. And family and community support are essential parts of the rehab process. If you are looking for more information and community resources, visit the Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona.