What Causes Traumatic Brain Injury?
We don’t often see it or talk about it in a medical sense, but the brain is probably the single most important organ humans have as a thinking, feeling species. Our brains are the heart of our personalities, it is because of our brains that we can think, analyze, empathize and come up with new ideas that allow us to move forward. Our brains are what separate us from all other life on Earth, and we owe our thoughts, feelings and intellectual ability to this organ, which is why it shouldn’t surprise anyone that it’s so well protected underneath a solid shell of bone.
But even with the protection nature tries to give us, the brain itself is a delicate organ, and when it gets damaged, it can affect a person’s life in many profound, ultimately negative ways. Traumatic brain injury is one of the most crippling forms of damage that anyone can endure, but how does it happen?
There are essentially two ways that traumatic brain injury can occur, and they are very different from each other.
The first is the much more straightforward method of direct physical damage. This simply means that if enough kinetic force is applied to the skull, that transfer of impact force goes to the brain and the brain suffers either permanent or temporary deformation, because it is a soft, delicate organ. It is not capable of enduring great forces, and will easily sustain damage when subjected to this.
Traffic accidents are a leading cause of traumatic brain injury as the forces involved in a high speed collision can affect every part of the body, including the skull and brain. In addition, depending on the nature of the traffic accident, the head itself can be subjected to physical trauma from parts of the car impacting it, such as the windshield, or other portions of the automobile.
A blow to the head is another way to sustain TBI. This can take the form of either an actual strike to the head, such as a falling branch hitting the head, or an accident with a baseball bat hitting the head. Or the blow can occur because of the head striking another object, such as in a slip and fall, where someone may fall down a flight of stairs and the head strike a step on the way down.
The indirect, but no less serious form of damage is through some kind of illness. A brain doesn’t have to sustain physical damage in order to malfunction. Oxygen is a key component of proper brain operation, and if the brain is deprived of oxygen for too long a period of time, such as in the case of a drowning mishap, the results can be permanent and crippling. There are also certain infections that, if not properly diagnosed and treated, can have a serious impact on brain performance, and result in a permanent degradation of performance that the victim simply has to live with.
If you or someone you know has been subjected to a traumatic brain injury, a TBI lawyer experienced in both the debilitating effects of TBI as well as the legal procedures to get compensation can be of great help during this difficult time.