Head Injury Lawsuit Information from Head Injury Lawyers/Attorneys
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Head injury is a trauma to the head, that may or may not include injury to the brain.
The incidence (number of new cases) of head injury is 300 per 100,000 per year (0.3% of the population), with a mortality of 25 per 100,000 in North America and 9 per 100,000 in Britain.
Head injuries include both injuries to the brain and those to other parts of the head, such as the scalp and skull.
Head injuries may be closed or open. A closed (non-missile) head injury is one in which the skull is not broken. A penetrating head injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and breaches the dura mater. Brain injuries may be diffuse, occurring over a wide area, or focal, located in a small, specific area.
A head injury may cause a skull fracture, which may or may not be associated with injury to the brain.
If intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding within the brain occurs, a hematoma within the skull can put pressure on the brain. Types of intracranial hematoma include subdural, subarachnoid, extradural, and intraparenchymal hematoma. Craniotomy surgeries are used in these cases to lessen the pressure by draining off blood.
Brain injury can be at the site of impact, but can also be at the opposite side of the skull due to a contrecoup effect.
Specific problems after head injury can include:
• Skull fracture
• Lacerations to the scalp and resulting hemorrhage of the skin
• Traumatic subdural hematoma, a bleeding below the dura mater which may develop slowly
• Traumatic extradural, or epidural hematoma, bleeding between the dura mater and the skull
• Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage
• Cerebral contusion, a bruise of the brain
• Concussion, a temporary loss of function due to trauma
• Dementia pugilistica, or "punch-drunk syndrome", caused by repetitive head injuries, for example in boxing or other contact sports
• A severe injury may lead to a coma or death
Common symptoms of head injury include those indicitave of traumatic brain injury:
• loss of consciousness,
• personality change,
• nausea and vomiting,
• a lucid interval, during which a patient appears conscious only to deteriorate later
Symptoms of skull fracture can include:
• leaking cerebrospinal fluid (a clear fluid drainage from nose, mouth
or ear) may be and is strongly indicative of basilar skull fracture and the
tearing of sheaths surrounding the brain, which can lead to secondary brain
• visible deformity or depression in the head or face; for example a sunken eye can indicate a maxillar fracture
• an eye that cannot move or is deviated to one side can indicate that a broken facial bone is pinching a nerve that innervates eye muscles
• wounds or bruises on the scalp or face.
Because brain injuries can be life threatening, even people with apparently slight injuries, with no noticeable signs or complaints, require close observation. The caretakers of those patients with mild trauma who are released from the hospital are frequently advised to rouse the patient several times during the next 12 to 24 hours to assess for worsening symptoms.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a tool for measuring degree of unconsciousness and is thus a useful tool for determining severity of injury.
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Traumatic brain injury affects 1.5 million Americans every year