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Brain Injury

The severity of a traumatic brain injury can change, however, brain injuries may be mild, moderate, and severe. For example, a Brain Herniation can occur from rising intracranial pressure.

Common Consequences of Brain Injuries may include:

I. Severe Brain Injury  

A severe traumatic brain injury causes a change in consciousness.  Severe brain injury is defined as a brain injury resulting in a loss of consciousness of greater than 6 hours & a Glasgow Coma Scale of 3 to 8. The following are three types of Loss of Consciousness include:

    1. Coma 

        • A person is completely unconscious when unable to wake or arouse and cannot follow instructions or communicate.  
    2. Minimal conscious state

        • May follows simple instructions
        • Can communicate yes or no by talking or gesturing a few words or phrases
        • Possible responses to people, things, events by: tears, smile, laugh, sounds, gestures, reaching for something, and attempting to old or use something.
    3. Vegetative State:

        • Cannot follow instructions but can open and close their eyes (sleep-wake cycle)
        • Unable to communicate with words 
        • Has no intentional movement
        • May make sounds
        • Able to react to a startling sound
        • May show facial expressions for no particular reason

II. Moderate Brain Injuries.  

Moderate brain injury is often defined as when there may be a loss of consciousness for less than 24-hours and the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS score) of 9 to 12.  For example, an abnormal CT-scan may show:

    1. Hematoma: 

      • Blood collects between the dura, which is the skull's outer shell, and the inner table of the skull. Increased brain pressure can cause a patient's level of consciousness to deteriorate quickly. 
    2. Contusion: 

      • A bruise may be found under or opposite from the side of the impact
      • Can cause brain swelling
      • May cause neurological dysfunction
    3. Brain Swelling:

      • A craniotomy is the temporary surgical removal of a bone flap until the patient can undergo brain surgery. 
    4. Brain Herniation:

      • A brain herniation is due to increased intracranial pressure.
      • This build-up of pressure can cause the patient's level of consciousness to deteriorate.
    5. Compressed Basal Cisterns

    6. Skull Fracture: 

        • Fracture to the skull can happen because of a large amount of force to the head
        • Skull fracture symptoms may include bleeding and bruising, like middle ear bleeding, or back of ear bruised dark circles around the eyes.

III. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or Concussion 

The definition for concussion or mild traumatic brain injury is a non-penetrating force to the head. The most common symptoms of a concussion are:

      1. Headache, Migraine
      2. Photophobia
      3. Sensitive to light
        • second-most common symptom after a concussion or TBI
        • usually begins 1-week after concussion and lasts for 2-3 weeks
      4. Vertigo 
        • Vertigo can occur by doing certain head movements.  You may have ringing in the ears with vertigo. 
      5. Hearing Loss
      6. Feel nauseated
      7. Vomiting
      8. Memory loss
        •  Unable to remember certain memories
      9. Unable to taste 
      10. Loss of smell
      11. Can’t  concentration
      12. Can’t focus
      13. Trouble reading or writing 
      14. Word finding loss
      15. Difficulty communicating
      16. Isolation, avoid social events
      17. Anxiety
      18. Mood changes
      19. Anger
      20. Depression

If you or a loved one has a mild, moderate, or severe traumatic brain injury due to someone else's wrongdoing or negligence, contact Cullotta Law Offices for a free consultation.  

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