The Difference Between Open and Closed Head Injuries
There are two main types of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) that accident victims can sustain: open head injuries and closed head injuries. The differences between the two are important, as they largely dictate the kind of diagnosis and treatment a person receives, as well the potential long-term repercussions of the injury.
What is a TBI?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external blunt force causes damage to the brain tissue. These kinds of injuries can range from mild to severe, depending on the extent and severity of the damage to the brain. Even the most mild of TBIs can disrupt the brain’s ability to function normally, causing physical, sensory, cognitive, and behavioral symptoms that could end up being permanent. This is true whether the damage was caused by a sudden blow to the head or a penetrating injury.
An open TBI occurs when a foreign object actually penetrates the skull itself before entering the brain. These injuries most often involve a foreign object, such as a piece of metal or glass, actually fracturing the skull and then striking the brain. This can result in blood loss, hemorrhaging, and significant damage to the brain tissue. Open head injuries are almost always serious, simply because so much damage is involved. Treatment typically requires removal of the lacerating object and pieces of fractured skull, the release of pressure on the brain caused by swelling, and controlling blood loss. Open TBIs almost always require a long hospital stay and surgical intervention.
Unlike an open TBI, a closed TBI happens when the head suffers some sort of outside blunt force trauma, but the skull itself remains intact. With these kinds of injuries, the brain, however, due to the sudden jolt, comes into contact with the inside of the skull, which can cause swelling, tearing, the rupture of the blood vessels, and the pooling of blood in the brain. Though they may look less serious than open TBIs (due to the lack of a laceration or visible wound), closed head injuries can still have devastating repercussions for victims. Examples of closed TBIs include concussions, contusions, and diffuse axonal injuries. Treatment for mild closed head injuries usually involves rest and the use of medications to manage pain, while more severe injuries may require surgery and ongoing therapy.
Seeking Justice for Tampa Head Injury Victims
TBIs are some of the most devastating injuries that a person can sustain, as they are often accompanied by long-term disability even after treatment. Fortunately, accident victims don’t have to shoulder the cost of paying for this treatment on their own, but can often obtain compensation from the at-fault party responsible for the accident that caused their injury in the first place. If you or a loved one suffered a TBI and have already sought medical attention and obtained a diagnosis, you should consider contacting an experienced Tampa brain injury lawyer who can walk you through your recovery options. Feel free to reach out to the dedicated attorneys and large support staff at Anderson & Anderson for help with your own claim.