Injuries to the head can represent some of the most serious consequences of an accident or incident of trauma. There are many different types and degrees of head injury and in this article we provide an overview of these and explain why certain of them can be so serious.
Types of head injury
The various types of head injury include the following:
- Shear injury
A shear injury occurs as a result of rapid acceleration and deceleration or rotational acceleration of the skull. These injuries can be extremely severe, sometimes resulting in swelling of the brain and frequently leading to brain damage and death.
- Skull Fracture
Any fracture of the skull has the potential to cause significant trauma to the brain. This can lead to one or more of the other types of brain injury listed here.
- Brain haemorrhage
A brain haemorrhage occurs when the brain undergoes uncontrolled bleeding. This can occur either in the space surrounding the brain or within the brain tissue itself. If left unattended, the bleeding can result in the build up of pressure to the brain. Common symptoms of brain haemorrhage are severe headaches and vomiting.
- Swelling to the brain
Swelling to the brain, or cerebral oedema, has a variety of potential causes, one of which is head injury. This swelling increases the pressure that the brain is under, which can restrict the flow of blood to the brain, depriving the brain of the oxygen that it requires to function.
Concussion occurs as a result of trauma, which causes the brain to collide with the hard surfaces of the skull. This can result in a loss of brain function which, thankfully, is usually temporary. Subjecting the brain to repeated concussion may, however, result in permanent damage.
- Lacerations, abrasions and contusions
Although potentially painful and uncomfortable, cuts and bruises to the surface of the head are unlikely to be particularly serious or life threatening, as they rarely result in consequential damage to the brain.
Why are head injuries so serious?
The reason for head injuries being so potentially serious is that the brain may suffer injury as a consequence. The brain is, of course, critical to the survival of the human body. Any injury to the head, which results in either direct damage to the brain or the increase of pressure within the skull, can have the effect of disabling this vital organ. Any injury that results in the deprivation of oxygen to the brain will ultimately destroy its cells, as a consequence of which it will be unable to function. This can cause permanent, life changing brain damage or death. The implications of a serious injury to the head underlines the need to use protective headgear whenever engaging in any activity that involves the risk of head trauma or the application of acceleration/deceleration/rotational forces to the head.
Personal Injury Solicitor Newcastle
Head injuries are amongst the most serious types of trauma and every possible step should be taken to prevent them. In the case of this particular type of injury, prevention is certainly preferable to cure, especially as, in many cases, a cure to a serious head injury may never be an option. To find out if you can make a claim for compensation if you have had a head injury contact the experienced team at Accinet for confidential legal advice today.