Tampa Bay Definitions Related To Traumatic Brain Injury

According to the Florida Department of Health[1] Florida Injury Facts:

  • A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to severe.
  • In 2011, traumatic brain injuries were related to 3,551 Florida deaths. In addition, there were another 18,006 hospitalizations for non-fatal traumatic brain injuries.
  • Residents aged 65 years and older had the highest rate of fatal TBIs followed by 45 to 54-year-olds.
  • Residents aged 75 years old and older had the highest rate of TBI-related hospitalization, followed by infants under 1-year-old and 65 to 74-year-olds.
  • Males of nearly every age group had higher rates of fatal traumatic brain injuries and non-fatal hospitalizations than their female counterparts.

Tampa Bay Definitions

If a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by an auto collision, motorcycle crash, or another type of accident, it is important to understand common definitions related to most traumatic brain injuries.

  • Closed Head Injury[2]– the skull is intact and there is no penetration of the skull.  Direct or indirect force to the head can cause this type of injury.  This may be caused by rotational and/or deceleration in the case of both direct and indirect force.
  • Open Head Injury– penetration of the skull with direct injury to the head.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury– diffuse cellular injury to the brain caused from rapid rotational movement.  This is often seen in motor vehicle accidents where there is damaged from the rapid deceleration.  The injury is from the shearing force disrupting the axons which compose the white matter of the brain.
  • Contusion– a bruise to a part of the brain.  Like a bruise on the body, this is bleeding into the tissue.
  • Penetrating Trauma[3]– any object that enters the brain.  Causes direct injury by impact and pushing skull fragments into the brain.
  • Secondary Injury– swelling and release of chemicals that promote inflammation and cell injury or death.  This causes swelling in the brain which may increase the intracranial pressure and prevent the cerebrospinal fluid from draining out of the skull.  This causes a further increase in pressure and brain damage.  If this is not controlled or prevented the brain can herniate (push through) the base of the skull and cause respiratory failure and death.  The only way to prevent the primary injury is to prevent the trauma.  The prevention of this secondary injury is the focus of the acute medical care after injury.

Secondary Injuries Includes:

  • Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)
  • Brain swelling
  • Increased intracranial pressure (pressure inside the skull)
  • Brain damage associated with lack of oxygen
  • Infection inside the skull, common with penetrating trauma
  • Chemical changes leading to cell death
  • Increased fluid inside the skull.

Tampa Bay Brain Injury Symptoms

The effects of brain damage are generally greatest immediately following the injury. However, long-term problems are difficult to assess because of the nature and complexity of the human brain. Cognitive and communication problems that result from brain injuries vary from person to person and depend on factors such as individual personality, pre-injury skills and the severity of the brain trauma.

For a Tampa Bay brain injury attorney, the most challenging aspect of representing a traumatic brain injury survivor is that the symptoms of TBI are often misunderstood. Common symptoms include impulsive behavior, loss of memory, personality changes, impaired perception, loss of taste and smell, diminished concentration, hearing and balance disorders, cognitive fatigue, concussions, comas, and seizures. Unfortunately, many of the TBI symptoms do not have outward physical manifestations. As a result, many victims do not receive appropriate care and treatment for the disabilities that follow, including physical, cognitive, psychological, and social impairments.

Contact a Tampa Bay Brain Injury Lawyer

If your loved one or a family member suffered a traumatic brain injury caused by a vehicle or motorcycle accident, speak to an experienced Tampa Bay brain injury attorney as soon as possible.  At the Dolman Law Group in Clearwater, Florida, our team of highly skilled brain injury lawyers has helped many victims obtain the recovery they deserve for their injuries and related losses including lost wages, medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Please call our office at 727-451-6900 today.

Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(727) 451-6900



[1] http://www.floridahealth.gov/statistics-and-data/florida-injury-surveillance-system/_documents/data-fact-sheets/tbi-2011.pdf
[2] http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/understanding-tbi/definitions-related-to-tbi/
[3] http://www.brainandspinalcord.org/traumatic-brain-injury-types/penetrating-brain-injury/index.html

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