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.
- 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.