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Serving Head Injury Victims

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, including nearly half a million children; of those, approximately 52,000 people die. Traumatic brain injuries are a major public health concern in the United States due to the fact that such injuries contribute to a large number of deaths and serious cases of permanent disability.

Head injury is a generalized term that refers to injuries to the skull, scalp, and brain; they are often referred to as traumatic brain injuries or TBI. A head injury is classified as closed or open (penetrating); trauma to the head can be a minor bump to the head to a serious and life-threatening brain injury.

With a closed injury, one receives a hard blow to the head from striking an object or an object striking the head; however, the object does not fracture the skull. With an open or penetrating head injury, the head is hit by an object that breaks the skull and enters into the brain. These types of injures commonly occur at high speeds and are often caused by auto accidents.

Types of Head Injuries

There are different types of head injuries including but not limited to:

  • Concussions
  • Skull fractures
  • Lacerations to the scalp resulting in hemorrhage
  • Traumatic subdural hematoma (bleeding below the dura mater)
  • Cerebral contusion (bruising of the brain)
  • Shaken baby syndrome (a type of child abuse)
  • Traumatic extradural or epidural hematoma (bleeding between the dura mater and skull)

Common causes of head injuries include: motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents and motorcycle accidents. For those that have sustained a serious head injury, the person should have a non-contrast CT of their head immediately, and an MRI is also another option. Due to the fact that head injuries can be life-threatening, it's important that even people with seemingly minor injuries be under close observation since severe symptoms can set in later on. Often times when people are released from a hospital with minor head trauma, their caretakers are advised to wake the patient frequently over the next 24 hours and to be watchful for worsening symptoms.

Tips for Head Injuries

Although a mild head injury may not need treatment, it's important to note that symptoms of a serious head injury may appear later on. For this reason, friends, family and parents or caregivers of children need to learn what to watch out for after a head injury.

This is what someone should do after a head injury:

  • If a head wound is deep or bleeding profusely, don't wash it.
  • If there is an object embedded in the skull, do not remove it.
  • Do not move the person unless you absolutely have to.
  • If the person is dazed and confused, do not shake them.
  • If the suspect has a serious head injury, do not remove their helmet.
  • If a fallen child has a sign of head injury, do not pick them up.
  • Do not drink any alcohol within 48 hours after sustaining a serious head injury.

When to call 911: 1) if there is heavy bleeding, 2) if the person is confused or unconscious, 3) if the person isn't breathing or they stop breathing, and 4) you suspect a serious neck or head injury. Head injuries are commonly associated with personal injury accidents, especially those involving motor vehicle collisions. If you have sustained a head injury in or around Houston, then you are urged to contact an attorney from The Doan Law Firm, P.C. to discuss your options for filing a claim for monetary compensation.

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