Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when trauma is inflicted on brain tissue. This can affect cognitive ability, memory and other basic functions. In some cases, TBIs can even be fatal. Doctors and other health professionals distinguish between open TBIs and closed TBIs.
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What Is an Open TBI?
An open TBI occurs when the skull is fractured, penetrated or otherwise broken in some way. This type of injury is also called a penetrating head injury. A penetrating TBI can happen in a car accident if a piece of metal or other sharp object hits a passenger with enough force to penetrate the skull. It can also happen with fireworks injuries, gun injuries and more.
An open TBI usually results in significant injury to the brain, especially if the penetrating object enters the brain tissue and causes severe trauma. In these cases, the damage can be localized to the area affected by the foreign object. However, the overall injury can also cause swelling of the brain and other dangerous conditions. The symptoms of an open TBI can vary depending on how much of the brain was damaged and which specific parts are injured.
What Is a Closed TBI?
A closed TBI occurs when a patient strikes their head, or is hit in the head, but the skull remains intact. Sports-related head injuries, for example, are often classified as closed TBIs. The danger with this type of injury is that the damage can be extensive and diffuse. Damage usually occurs because the brain tissue strikes the inside of the skull during impact potentially leading to bleeding, bruising, swelling and other damage at the points where the brain impacts the skull.
In some cases, the brain bounces off one area of the skull and strikes another area. For example, someone who is struck forcibly to the front of the skull may experience bruising or bleeding both at the front and the back of the skull as the brain reverberates back and forth. The severity of injuries, and the symptoms involved, will depend on which specific areas are affected and how hard someone is struck in the head.
If you have sustained any sort of TBI, it is important to seek immediate medical attention and legal representation. Contact KBG Injury Law if you would like to speak with an attorney in Pennsylvania about your situation.