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Head Injury Overview
Head Injuries can be broken down into two basic categories: internal and external. Both types of head injuries are extremely serious and require immediate medical attention. External head injuries generally involve superficial wounds or fractures to the skull. Internal head injuries, also called “closed-head” injuries, do not typically involve skull fractures but can potentially be even more deadly because they could lead to brain swelling and blood clots.
Either type of injury could lead to permanent brain damage, loss of consciousness, or even death. The severity of some head injuries is not always obvious immediately after an accident. It is imperative that anyone who has suffered any trauma to the head in an accident receive medical attention immediately. Any delay in the proper diagnosis and treatment of a head wound can lead to dire consequences for the victim. Head injuries also require on-going observation and vigilance. Anyone who has lost consciousness or suffered a blow to the head should be watched carefully by others even after they have been released from the hospital or doctor’s office.
The most serious risk with head injuries is that there will be damage to the brain. The brain is a soft organ which is protected by the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid and by the skull. There are two general types of brain injuries: traumatic and non-traumatic. Non-traumatic brain injuries are those which have a biological origin. These injuries generally result from stroke, aneurysm, loss of oxygen, tumors, and other medical conditions. In medical terms, a traumatic brain injury is one caused by a physical impact. Traumatic brain injury typically occurs as the result of an accident involving a direct blow or impact to the head.
The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system and work together to control virtually every function that the human body performs. Injury to any region of the brain can interfere with its ability to communicate with the body resulting in a wide variety of impaired functions. An individual who has suffered a brain injury can experience varying degrees of physical, cognitive, and emotional or behavioral impairments. The symptoms and effects of a severe brain injury will vary depending on the location and severity of the trauma.
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