Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)

brain injury typesA Brain Injury is damage to the brain that results in a loss of function such as mobility or feeling.

Traumatic Brain Injuries can result from a closed head injury or a penetrating head injury.

Closed Injury: A closed injury occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object but the object does not break through the skull.

Penetrating Injury: A penetrating injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

As the first line of defense, the skull is particularly vulnerable to injury. Skull fractures occur when the bone of the skull cracks or breaks. A depressed skull fracture occurs when pieces of the broken skull press into the tissue of the brain. A penetrating skull fracture occurs when something pierces the skull, such as a bullet, leaving a distinct and localized injury to brain tissue. Skull fractures can cause cerebral contusion.

Anoxia: Another insult to the brain that can cause injury is anoxia. Anoxia is a condition in which there is an absence of oxygen supply to an organ’s tissues, even if there is adequate blood flow to the tissue.

Hypoxia: Hypoxia refers to a decrease in oxygen supply rather than a complete absence of oxygen, and ischemia is inadequate blood supply, as is seen in cases in which the brain swells. In any of these cases, without adequate oxygen, a biochemical cascade called the ischemic cascade is unleashed, and the cells of the brain can die within several minutes. This type of injury is often seen in near-drowning victims, in heart attack patients, or in people who suffer significant blood loss from other injuries that decrease blood flow to the brain.