Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can happen to anyone at any time. A significant and sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body can result in long-term damage to the brain that can sometimes require lifelong medical care. Spreading awareness about the causes of a traumatic brain injury can help keep the general public aware of how to prevent and avoid these injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injury Causes
Unlike a mild bump to the head, TBIs can cause irreversible damage to the brain. While one may think these injuries are hard to come by, they are in fact fairly common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), thousands of people suffer brain injuries each year, including children. In fact, a study by journal Brain Injury estimates 72% of TBI-related emergency room visitors were children and adolescents.
Children, young adults, the elderly, and males are particularly susceptible to suffering from a TBI. While the degree of damage varies, some of the top causes of brain injuries include:
A fall from a bed, ladder, down the stairs, or in the bath, is actually one of the most common causes of a TBI. This is particularly true for the elderly and young children.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Car, motorcycle, truck, and even pedestrian accidents can result in a TBI. According to the CDC, 30% of all brain injury-related deaths are attributed to traumatic brain injuries, with more than 14% of those resulting from a car accident.
Acts of Violence
Gunshot wounds, domestic violence and child abuse, as well as other forms of physical assault commonly cause a TBI. Shaken baby syndrome, in particular, is a common cause of TBI in infants due to violent shaking.
TBIs can also be caused by injuries that occur in a number of sports. Most notably, professional and college football have been fraught with major concerns around repeated head trauma that can cause irreparable damage to a player’s brain. However, soccer, boxing, baseball, lacrosse, skateboarding, hockey, and other high-impact sports can also result in a TBI.
With regard to active-duty military personnel, explosive blasts and combat-related injuries often contribute to a TBI. Penetrating wounds, severe blows to the head with shrapnel or debris, and falls or bodily collisions with objects following a blast can traumatically injure the brain.
Complications Following a Traumatic Brain Injury
Severe complications resulting from a TBI can occur almost immediately or relatively soon after an injury has occurred. Brain injuries increase a patient’s risk of developing more severe complications, including:
Following a TBI, a person can slip into a coma. When in a coma, the person is unconscious, unaware of anything around them, and unable to respond. This is typically the result of widespread damage to all parts of the brain and can last for a few days to weeks. In the event a coma lasts longer, the person may enter into a vegetative state.
If the damage is widespread, the brain can go into a vegetative state. In this state, the person is unaware of their surroundings, but they may open their eyes, make noises, or move slightly. While it is possible for a vegetative state to become permanent over time, individuals can also progress to a minimally conscious state.
Minimally Conscious State
A minimally conscious state refers to a condition of severely altered consciousness, but with a few signs of awareness of one’s environment. This is sometimes a transitional state away from a coma or vegetative state and can be a sign of recovery.
Brain death occurs when there is no measurable activity in the brain and brainstem. Once a person is declared brain dead, removal of breathing devices will result in the stopping of breathing and cause eventual heart failure. This condition is irreversible.
Houston Traumatic Brain Injury Attorney
TBIs are unfortunately common events that can arise in a number of situations. Many are attributed to car accidents and other impacts that result in irreparable damage to the brain. In the event another party is responsible for causing a brain injury, it’s imperative to seek medical help. At Ramsey Law Group, we have handled numerous cases involving brain injuries, including TBIs. Our team of experienced Houston brain injury lawyers are here to help you hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI as the result of another’s negligence, contact us today to learn more about how we can help.