There are many different types of head and brain injuries, some of which are acquired as the result of disease or exposure to hazardous substances. Many people, however, experience traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs — those caused by a blow to the head or a sudden acceleration or deceleration. This type of brain injury is divided into two main categories. Injuries in which the skull fractures or is penetrated by a foreign object are known as open-head injuries; those in which the skull remains intact and the brain bounces around inside are known as closed-head injuries.
Open-head injuries, also known as penetrating head injuries, pose most of the same risks and dangers as closed-head injuries do, but they present additional challenges for patients and medical professionals. Those who suffer skull fractures due to car accidents, falls or assaults may experience concussion, diffuse axonal injury and other serious types of damage. Open-head injuries, however, can also lead to serious infections.
Because the skull has been opened, brain tissue can be damaged directly by the object that the victim has collided with. Objects and surfaces that can cause a penetrating head injury include:
- Vehicle parts
These objects can tear or crush brain tissue and blood vessels. Similarly, open-head injuries indirectly damage brain tissue when bone fragments are driven into the brain. Sometimes projectiles go the whole way through the head and come out the other side — this is known as a perforating head injury. Those who survive such injuries often suffer severe brain damage and may require a lifetime of care, at considerable expense.
If you or someone close to you has suffered an open-head brain injury, speak with the experienced Bradenton traumatic brain injury attorneys at the firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh.