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/24-7PressRelease/ - March 30, 2007 - When brain injuries do not involve trauma, they usually involve lack of oxygen to the brain. The severity of a brain injury is measured on the Glascow Coma Scale. This only indicates the severity of the initial injury and does not take into account long-term results.
Brain Injury Severity - The Glasgow Coma Scale
If you have suffered a brain injury it is important to understand that the rating of the severity of your injury refers only to the initial, not the long-term, damage. Even a "mild" brain injury can have serious long-term consequences.
Mild Brain Injury
A mild brain injury causes a brief loss of consciousness, lasting no more than a few minutes, or no loss of consciousness at all. Immediately afterwards the victim is dazed or confused.
Moderate Brain Injury
Loss of consciousness lasts several minutes to several hours. Confusion can last for weeks or months. Impairment may last for several months or can be permanent.
Severe Brain Injury
Loss of consciousness lasts for days, weeks, or months. Severe brain injury can result in a coma, vegetative state, or "locked-in" syndrome. Severe brain injuries cause loss of consciousness for days, weeks, or months. Impairment may be permanent.
Lack of Oxygen
The brain must have an adequate supply of oxygen at all times. Brain injuries can occur even when oxygen levels are reduced, but not cut off entirely. There are several types of brain injuries which involve lack of oxygen including:
· Anemic Anoxia - the blood does not carry enough oxygen
· Toxic Anoxia - toxins block oxygen in the blood from being used
· Anoxic Anoxia - no oxygen is supplied to the brain at all
· Stagnant Hypoxia - insufficient blood flow to the brain
Accidents, medical conditions, and poisoning are just some of the ways that the oxygen supply to the brain may be cut off or reduced. Events which can cause anoxic brain injuries include:
· Near drowning
· Throat swelling (such as in an allergic reaction)
· Carbon monoxide poisoning
· Anesthesia error
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury is caused by outside forces. A head injury may or may not be involved. Events such as a blow to the head or a gunshot wound would obviously involve both head and brain injuries. Injuries, such as whiplash, can injure the brain without causing a head injury.
· Concussion. Concussions are a common type of brain injury, and often go undetected if there is no loss of consciousness, but can take months or years to heal. They can be caused by an impact, such as a blow to the head, or by sudden movement such as whiplash. During a concussion, blood vessels can stretch and damage cranial nerves.
· Contusion. A contusion is a bruise. When the brain is bruised it is bleeding. Contusions are normally caused by an impact.
· Coup-contrecoup contusion. A strong enough impact to the head can cause bruising of the brain on the side of the head where the impact occurred and on the opposite side from slinging the brain so hard that it hits the other side of the skull.
· Diffuse axonal. A rapid movement can cause the skull to move faster than the brain, tearing brain tissue and nerves.
· Penetration. Penetration injuries occur when an object actually goes through the skull and enters the brain causing direct damage.
· Shaken baby syndrome. When a baby or young child is shaken it can tear the blood vessels between the brain and the skull. The brain bleeds and swells, squeezing tissue and killing brain cells.
· Second impact syndrome. Additional injury to an already injured brain is much more likely to cause serious injury or death than an initial brain injury.
The brain injury attorneys at Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, P.C., represent birth trauma and other medical malpractice victims in Colorado, Wyoming and the Rocky Mountain Region and are available to consult with victims nationwide. With more than forty attorneys in Denver, Colorado, Cincinnati, Ohio, Dallas, Texas and Cody, Wyoming, Burg Simpson has the trial experience and the resources to handle even the most complex birth and brain injury lawsuits. For more information, please visit http://www.burgsimpson.com/.
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