The terms head injury and brain injury, also called traumatic brain injury, are often used interchangeably even though they are very different. In some cases, a head injury can lead to a brain injury, but that is not always the case. Confusing these terms can lead to you not understanding your diagnosis, the severity of your injury, and even your treatment options. To help with this confusion, we are going to compare the two injuries below.
What is a Head Injury?
The brain is a complex connection of tissues, blood vessels, and nerves. It is the center of the nervous system and controls everything that happens in our bodies. It processes the information it gets from various senses and decides what to do with it. Because of how important the brain is, our bodies have evolved to protect it. The brain resides inside the skull where it is protected by this boney structure, the scalp, and other protective layers.
A head injury is an injury to any part of the head, particularly those that protect the brain. The skull and scalp are especially suited to absorbing trauma and forces to the head to stop them from reaching the brain. The head can sustain different types of injuries including lacerations, fractures, and bruising as it protects the brain. There are also cases of penetrative head injuries that lead to brain injuries.
A brain injury is, well, any injury to the brain. What most people think of when they hear this term is brain injuries associated with head injuries. In cases like car crashes or sports injuries, the brain can jostle inside the skull due to the quick whipping motions resulting from such incidents.
We have mentioned penetrative trauma being a cause of brain injuries, and this is where an object penetrates the skull and injures the brain. Such injuries can be seen in car accidents and accidents that occur on construction sites.
Brain injuries can also result from medical negligence and malpractice. Medical procedures that lead to the brain being deprived of oxygen, called hypoxia in mild cases and anoxia in severe cases, also cause brain injuries. A common incident is labor and birth where a baby is injured during delivery.
If this happens, the baby might develop lifelong conditions. Such injuries can also be complicated by misdiagnosis, and if that happens, you might be entitled to compensation. Talk to attorneys who specialize in brain injury law so they can hear you out and guide you on the next steps.
Brain injuries can also be caused by various conditions and illnesses.
Types of Brain Injuries
There are many types of head injuries rather than the ones mentioned above. There are additional brain injuries that include concussions, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, dystonia, and stroke.
Regardless of the brain injury, they all have something in common; they affect your behavior, as well as your emotional, cognitive, and physical health.
Although often confused with each other, head and brain injuries are very different. They have different causes and affect patients differently. They may also cause short-term or long-term complications depending on their cause and how they are treated.
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