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What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Home > FAQ > What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a sudden impact to a person’s head or body which results in damage to brain functioning.

Common causes of TBI include:

  • Striking one’s head on a windshield, steering wheel or dashboard in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Falling and hitting one’s head on the ground or against a hard surface or solid object.
  • Physical assaults resulting in blows to the head from a fist, foot or solid object.

These are referred to as closed head TBIs.  Open head injuries occur when an object, such as a bullet or a skull fragment, penetrates the skull and contacts brain tissue.

TBI Types:

  • Concussion – This is the most common form of TBI.  It is defined as a brief loss of normal brain function due to impact with the head.
  • Contusion – This is bruising of the brain tissue.  Brain contusions frequently result from skull fractures or whiplash injuries.
  • Contrecoup – This is a specific type of brain contusion, when the brain is shaken violently within the skull.  It may also result in axonal shearing, a damaging of individual nerve cells in the brain.
  • Hematoma – This is bleeding inside or near the brain, as a result of injury to a blood vessel.
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