Brain Bleeding Injuries
Of the almost 80 organs in the human body, it’s the brain that is primarily responsible for many functions. Consisting of about 100 billion neurons, this complicated command center is in charge of memory, emotion, growth, response to danger, reason, and more. The cranial cavity in the skull surrounds and houses the brain, protecting it from injury. Despite layers of bones and membranes, external physical forces can cause damage to the brain. Any bump, blow, or jolt to the head — such as when a moving head is suddenly stopped by hitting a steering wheel or headrest – can cause the brain to move violently. This motion can stretch axons, tear blood vessels, or damage the brain’s surface as it smashes against the inside of the skull.
If you have suffered a brain bleed in a car collision , or if such an injury has proven injurious or fatal to someone you love, the Philadelphia closed head injury lawyers of Wapner Newman can review your case and advise you whether you have grounds to seek financial compensation. Serving communities throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, we invite you to discuss your unique situation by calling us at 1-800-LAW-6600 or filling out a free case evaluation form.
Motor vehicle accident victims often suffer brain hematomas, which are internal bleeding injuries. A hematoma is an enclosed hemorrhage (blood loss) into a tissue space. Blood vessels running through the brain, as well as those in the spaces between the outside of the brain and the inside of the skull, can rupture in a crash. The subsequent bleeding takes up space in the skull and squeezes down on the brain, pushing the brain against the skull and preventing oxygen-rich blood from flowing. Additional brain swelling results from this lack of oxygen and it only takes five to ten minutes of oxygen deprivation to result in permanent damage. Furthermore, the combined pressure can be fatal.
The primary symptom of brain bleeding is a severe headache that starts suddenly. Patients often say the pain is worse near the back of the head and many describe it as different from any other type of headache they’ve ever experienced. The headache may start after a popping or snapping feeling in the head.
Other common symptoms of a brain bleed include:
- Decreased consciousness/alertness
- Glossy eyes
- Memory problems
- Muscle aches (especially neck and shoulder pain)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Problems moving or feeling limbs
- Sensitivity to light
- Stiff neck
- Sudden mood or personality changes
If you have been injured in an accident that involved a blow to your head, it is important to understand the delayed path that brain injuries may take. A serious head injury is not always obvious. Depending on whether the bleed develops between the brain and its membranes or the membranes and the skull, it can take anywhere from a few minutes to a few days for the blood to collect. Getting to a hospital when first experiencing symptoms allows an emergency room team to determine the severity of the injury and is critical to preventing permanent brain damage. If surgery is needed to stop the bleeding and relieve the pressure, an emergency craniotomy can be performed. As swelling decreases and blood flow and brain chemistry improve, brain function usually improves. Treatment then typically involves a month in an intensive care unit to closely monitor brain activity, and a few years of physical and cognitive therapy to regain as much function as possible.
Car accidents are responsible for leaving both drivers and passengers to suffer from a large assortment of injuries ranging in severity from simply bothersome to life-altering. A study from 2006 to 2010 conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) discovered that among all age groups, vehicle accidents were responsible for 14.3 percent of all traumatic brain injuries (TBI). When considering just TBI-related deaths, motor vehicle crashes ranked as the second leading cause of TBI-related deaths – 26 percent.