In 2008, there were 306,367 auto accidents in the state, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Accident victims will often sustain a head injury during the crash. When an individual sustains a severe head injury, it can result in brain damage.
Even if an accident victim shows no signs of an injury, a head injury can lead to the individual losing brain function. Trauma to the head can cause a brain injury, which can lead to bleeding around the brain, bruising on the brain tissue or damage to the nerve connection inside the brain.
Types of Head Injuries
Symptoms of a head injury will vary depending on the type of injury. Listed below are some common head injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents:
A skull fracture doesn’t always result in a brain injury to the accident victim. There are two factors that will determine whether a skull fracture will result in a brain injury: the location and the amount of force in the injury. Doctors will often classify skull fractures by what the fracture looks like, whether the bone has been pushed in and by the location. Skull fractures are divided into the following categories:
- Linear or Stellate Fractures
- Basilar Skull Fractures
- Open or Closed Fractures
- Depressed Skull Fractures
- Penetrating Skull Fractures
- Diastasis Fractures
Diffuse Axonal Injury or Shear Injury
When a head injury causes damage to the brain’s axons, the results are often devastating. The damage of the electrical flow between the cells causes injury victims to look comatose without showing symptoms of bleeding in the brain. Currently, there is not treatment for a diffuse axonal injury. Doctors can prescribe support treatment for the accident victim. Medical professionals will make sure that the patient’s basic needs are met, in hopes that the brain will recover by itself. In most cases, the brain will not recover.
An epidural hematoma occurs when blood is trapped in a small location causing blood to form. Generally the pressure will increase rapidly in the epidural spot, pushing the blood clot on the brain, causing damage. Oftentimes, patients will need surgery to relieve the pressure off of the brain.
Subdural hematomas are usually the result of a serious head injury. When one occurs in this manner, it is called an “acute” subdural hematoma. The bleeding often fills the brain quickly, compressing the brain tissue. This is one of the deadliest head injuries that an accident victim can sustain.
Anytime bleeding occurs around the skull this is referred to as intracranial bleeding. Bleeding can still occur, if the skull is intact. To be on the safe side all accident victims should seek medical attention following an accident.
The terms hematoma, or blood clot, and hemorrhage, or bleeding are often used interchangeably. Whenever there is bleeding inside the skull, it can build up and cause pressure and compress the brain. This results in the skull having no space to accommodate the swelling done by the bleeding.