Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the name for damage to the brain occurring because of an external force. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a single year, “There were approximately 2.87 million TBI-EDHDs [emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths] in the United States, including over 837,000 occurring among children.” The three most common causes of TBIs cited by the CDC were motor vehicle crashes, falls, and assaults.
The most common type of TBI in Florida, closed head injuries often leave no visible signs of bleeding or open wounds. These TBIs are frequently caused by rapid head motion—such as from whiplash during a car accident.
These injuries leave some kind of obvious penetration or opening in the head. The brain may be exposed after one of these injuries, putting the victim at increased risk of infection and illness. Often caused by violent assaults with weapons.
In a crushing injury, the brain is compressed between two objects—hence the name “crushing” brain injury. Often results in permanent damage to the brain stem and skull. Most likely to happen when the head becomes trapped between two heavy objects (or a heavy object and the ground).
The symptoms of a brain injury are varied in terms of both effect and severity. The precise location of the injury can dramatically affect the symptoms experienced. For example, the frontal lobe of the brain regulates reward and motivation (important decision-making functions), so damage to this area may affect a person’s ability to make appropriate choices. Meanwhile, damage to the parietal lobe may affect a person’s coordination and sense of touch.
One of the most critical risks with any traumatic brain injury event is the risk of death from internal brain hemorrhaging. This is especially true of closed-head injuries, which may not be properly diagnosed right away. Keeping an eye out for any symptoms of a brain injury, such as slurred speech, loss of reflex/balance, altered behavior, or inability to focus, is crucial when dealing with any head injury in Florida.
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