Vehicle accidents regularly lead to victims sustaining brain injuries. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries often result in a person suffering from significant long-term complications that affect both their physical and cognitive well-being. Here, we want to discuss some of the most common brain injuries that people sustain as a result of car accidents in Kentucky. Anytime a vehicle accident occurs, a person runs the risk of sustaining some type of traumatic brain injury. Even collisions that occur at slower speeds still involve vehicles that weigh thousands of pounds coming into contact with one another. This often leads to a person striking their head on objects inside the motor vehicle. Additionally, the rapid back and forth motion of the neck and head can result in brain and head injuries, even if direct contact with an object does not occur.
Concussions and brain contusions are some of the most common types of injuries a person can sustain in the event a motor vehicle accident. Information available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that concussions are typically caused by a “bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth.”
According to medical professionals at Johns Hopkins University, a closed brain injury occurs anytime there is a non-penetrating injury to the brain that does not result in a break in the skull. Closed brain injuries are caused by the rapid back and forth movement and shaking of the brain inside of the skull. This results in the bruising and tearing of blood vessels in brain tissue. It is not uncommon for a person to sustain these injuries as a result of the whiplash motion caused by a rear-end or head-on collision.
A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) happens when the brain’s long connecting nerve fibers (axons) are sheared as a result of the brain shifting and rotating inside of the skull. Diffuse axonal injuries often lead to a person slipping into a coma as well as causing trauma to various parts of the brain. Changes to the brain as a result of a diffuse axonal injury are usually microscopic, and they may not even be evident on traditional CT scans or MRI scans.
When a person sustains a brain injury, regardless of whether the injury is relatively minor or severe, the signs and symptoms vary widely. Additionally, the signs and symptoms of the different types of brain injuries mentioned above tend to mimic one another. What we mean by this is that the effects of a closed brain injury often mimic the effects of a diffuse axonal injury. All of these mechanisms of injury can cause harm to the same areas of the brain, thereby leading to the same symptoms. That said, the symptoms of a concussion are typically more minor and not as long-lasting as the symptoms associated with a diffuse axonal injury or a closed brain injury. Some of the most common signs and symptoms of a brain injury include, but are not limited to, the following:
It is crucial for any person who suspects they have sustained a brain or head injury to seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Often, these signs and symptoms may not develop until hours or even days after the initial impact occurs. By then, it could be too late to reverse the damage.