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What Are the Different Types and Levels of Brain Injuries?

Brain trauma can be a serious car accident injury that can lead to long-lasting physical, cognitive, and emotional effects. If you’ve been in an accident, it’s critical to recognize the warning signs of brain injuries and seek medical attention immediately. Read on for a brief guide to the various types and levels of brain injuries

Common Types of Brain Injuries

There are several incidents and events that can cause brain injuries, including car accidents, falls, workplace accidents, and more. Brain injuries can range from a closed head injury to a penetrating one, or injury caused by blunt force trauma. They can also be caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Some of the common types of brain injury include:

  • Concussion: Also called a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a concussion most common type of brain injury. They’re typically caused by blunt force trauma and often occur in rear-end accidents or falls where violent movement causes the brain to shift. As it moves and strikes the skull, it can cause damage to brain tissues and blood vessels.
  • Penetrating Brain Injuries: Caused by an object penetrating the skull and entering the brain, these injuries can cause bleeding and brain cell death. Swelling, bleeding, stroke, loss of oxygen, and more complications often accompany a penetrating brain injury.
  • Anoxic Brain Injuries: These injuries are caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain. Brain cells start to die after four minutes without oxygen. In some cases, damage to blood vessels can cause these injuries. When contusions occur due to the brain striking the skull, bleeding can cause the brain to swell and lead to a lack of oxygen in the brain.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury: A DAI is much like other brain injuries that involve the brain shifting within the skull. In this case, the long connecting fibers are torn from the brain, leading to severe damage in multiple locations on the brain.

Brain Injury Levels of Severity 

Medical providers typically rely on the Glasgow Coma Scale score, memory loss, and consciousness. Other factors can also play a role in determining the extent of the injury. For instance, the location of the injury may impact the individual’s ability to perform daily tasks or present with specific symptoms. There are three general levels of severity when it comes to TBIs, including:

  • Mild TBI: A mild TBI, or concussion, often doesn’t cause a loss of consciousness. Symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, balance problems, fatigue, anxiety, and more.
  • Moderate TBI: Moderate TBIs often result in unconsciousness for longer than 30 minutes and up to 24 hours. They include all symptoms of mild TBIs, as well as more severe symptoms like headaches that get worse, seizures, numbness in limbs, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and more. 
  • Severe TBI: A severe TBI causes loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours, and it often causes memory loss that lasts longer than 7 days. Immediate medical attention is required.

Protect Your Brain After an Accident by Seeking Medical Attention Immediately

Brain trauma can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including headaches, nausea, dizziness, mood swings, and difficulty remembering or concentrating. In some cases, the effects of the injury may be permanent, requiring lifelong care and support.

It’s important to take preventive measures—even if you don’t have symptoms—and be aware of the risks of brain trauma to ensure a healthy and happy future. The car accident specialists at Impact Medical Group of Clearwater are standing by to help. Call us today at (727) 292-0200 to schedule your free medical evaluation.