Brain injuries

What Is Secondary Brain Injury?

Posted in Brain injuries on June 30, 2022

A brain injury is a significant injury that can forever change the way in which you are able to live your life, and also work and support your family. However, it can be difficult to understand the many different types of brain injury that you could experience. Brain injuries are often referred to as “primary brain injuries” and “secondary brain injuries”.

The type of brain injury most people hear about is primary brain injury. These are brain injuries that happen during an initial incident or accident that cause a shift in the physical structures inside the brain. Secondary brain injuries are not caused by mechanical incidents or accidents. Rather, they develop after the initial incident or accident and may happen independently of any primary incident.

Working with a local Omaha brain injury lawyer from Knowles Law Firm who knows the difference and how to apply it to your case will support the best possible outcome.

Main Causes of Secondary Brain Injury

Trauma to the brain is unpredictable and can worsen significantly over time. When you accept a settlement for your damages that do not include costs that might emerge in the future, you and your family will have to cover those costs out of your household budget. This is why accurately diagnosing secondary brain trauma is essential to receiving the full compensation you deserve.

Some of the main causes of secondary brain injuries due to a primary trauma include:

  • Swelling of the brain, known as cerebral edema
  • The pressure inside the skull, known as intracranial pressure
  • Low blood pressure, or hypotension
  • Insufficient oxygen in the brain, or cerebral hypoxia
  • Insufficient blood flow, or ischemia
  • Changes in the blood flow to your brain

Secondary brain injuries can also happen independently of an external incident, including as a result of the following issues:

  • Meningitis
  • Alteration of the neurotransmitter release
  • Excessively acidic blood, or acidosis
  • Brain tumors
  • Abscesses in the brain
  • Excessive carbon dioxide levels in the blood, or hypercapnia

Common Problems Associated with Brain Injuries

Brain injuries often result in a number of different symptoms. The outcome of a brain injury depends upon the volume of brain tissue that is damaged, in addition to the pressure in the skull and how that impacts your brain. Some of the problems may be medically alleviated, but is a difficult process to achieve.

Ensuring that you have the opportunity to pursue the potentially costly treatments that are necessary to alleviate you brain injury’s symptoms as well as possible requires a strong case. Working with a local Omaha brain injury lawyer will ensure that you have a strong case that will cover the full damages you are entitled to.

Connect with a Brain Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Case

Working with an attorney helps to ensure that you collect the complete compensation you are entitled to, so that you and your family don’t have to for expenses linked to your secondary brain injury out of pocket.

For your risk-free, cost-free initial case assessment, schedule a consultation or call us at (402) 575-9949 to explore options.

How Are Brain Injuries Classified?

Posted in Brain injuries on August 5, 2021

A brain injury is one of the most serious potential outcomes of an accident in Omaha. Damage or an injury to the brain can affect all aspects of life, including motor function and cognitive abilities. Many different accidents can cause brain injuries, including falls and motor vehicle collisions. Brain injuries are classified in a few different ways: by cause, type and severity. Ask your doctor for more information about your brain injury diagnosis beyond these basic facts.

brain injury classification

Traumatic vs. Acquired Brain Injuries 

First, brain injuries are placed into one of two main categories based on the mechanism of the injury. If the brain injury was caused by an internal problem, such as an interruption to the flow of oxygen or blood to the brain, it is an acquired brain injury (ABI). By contrast, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are from external sources of trauma, such as blunt force impact against the head or skull in an accident. Both ABIs and TBIs can cause significant brain damage by injuring or killing the brain’s cells.

Open vs. Closed Brain Injuries

Then, the physician will examine the skull to categorize the injury as an open or closed head injury. An open head injury means that the injury fractured or penetrated the skull. A closed head injury means that the skull was not penetrated but the brain still sustained an injury, such as by bouncing around inside of the skull. Open and closed brain injuries are both devastating types of injuries that can result in life-changing symptoms for a victim.

Types of Brain Injuries

Next, the doctor will use tests such as x-rays and CT scans to diagnose the specific type of brain injury. The type of injury is important, as this will help determine the appropriate treatment plan. If there is brain swelling, for example, a doctor may recommend surgery to relieve the pressure within the skull. The injury type can also determine what symptoms the patient might experience, as well as the patient’s prognosis for recovery. Injury type is diagnosed based on the location of the injury, its mechanism and morphology (how it affects the nervous system). 

The types of brain injuries include:

  • Penetrating brain injury
  • Concussion
  • Contusion
  • Diffuse-axonal injury
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome
  • Coup-contrecoup injury
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Hematoma (bruising)
  • Hemorrhage (bleeding)
  • Second-impact syndrome
  • Brain aneurysm
  • Stroke

Identifying the type of brain injury generally takes medical procedures such as physical exams and imaging scans. A coup-contrecoup injury, for example, will show up on an x-ray as damage to one side of the brain from striking the skull and damage to the exact opposite side of the brain from striking the skull again in a rebound.

Injury Severity

Finally, a brain injury specialist will determine brain injury severity. This classification is typically based on how much the injury affects the central nervous system. The most common assessment tool for brain injury severity is the Glasgow Coma Scale, created in 1974. This scale classifies brain injury severity in three levels based on a point system:

  • Mild: 13 to 15 points.
  • Moderate: 9 to 12 points.
  • Severe: 8 points or less.

A doctor will assess points for a patient’s eye opening, verbal and motor responses during an examination. Fewer total points mean the patient showed little to no response to the doctor’s cues, while more points mean a more healthy or normal response. It is important to note, however, that all brain injuries are serious – even those that are classified as mild.

Were You or a Loved One Diagnosed With a Brain Injury? Get Help

Brain injuries are extremely complex and nuanced injuries that can have a wide range of effects on a victim. Common symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dizziness, disorientation, memory loss, loss of consciousness and trouble communicating. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a brain injury after a preventable accident in Omaha, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney who specializes in brain injury law. One or more parties may owe you financial compensation. An Omaha traumatic brain injury attorney can help you understand and protect your legal rights as a brain injury survivor.