Injury to the head may damage the scalp, skull or brain. The most important consequence of head trauma is traumatic brain injury. Head injury may occur either as a closed head injury, such as the head hitting a car's windshield, or as a penetrating head injury, as when a bullet pierces the skull. Both may cause damage that ranges from mild to profound. Very severe injury can be fatal because of profound brain damage.
External trauma to the head is capable of damaging the brain, even if there is no external evidence of damage. More serious injuries can cause skull fracture, blood clots between the skull and the brain, or bruising and tearing of the brain tissue itself.
Injuries to the head can be caused by traffic accidents, sports injuries, falls, workplace accidents, assaults, or bullets. Most people have had some type of head injury at least once in their lives, but rarely do they require a hospital visit.
However, each year about two million people suffer from a more serious head injury, and up to 750,000 of them are severe enough to require hospitalization. Brain injury is most likely to occur in males between ages 15 and 24, usually as a result of car and motorcycle accidents. About 70% of all accidental deaths are due to head injuries, as are most of the disabilities that occur after trauma.
A person who has had a head injury and who is experiencing the following symptoms should seek medical care immediately:
- Serious bleeding from the head or face
- Loss of consciousness, however brief
- Confusion and lethargy
- Lack of pulse or breathing
- Clear fluid drainage from the nose or ear
If you or your loved one have been in an accident that caused a head injury, you should contact Attorney Stephen E. Bloom immediately to learn more about preserving your rights and remedies.