Experience with Traumatic Open Head Wound Injuries
The brain is a vastly complex organ that is responsible for our entire internal and external functioning. Because our bodies are so complex the brain has to make over 100 billion connections in order to execute all of our thought processes, emotions, and internal biological processes. That being said, if the brain sustains any trauma, it can result in severe and potentially lethal consequences. Despite its supreme importance, the brain is only protected by a series of bones and some protective tissue and fluid. That means that the brain is susceptible to damage in the event there is a severe impact to the head. While any brain injury is considered a medical emergency, some of the most devastating injuries to the brain are known as open head wound injuries.
If you or someone you know has suffered an open head wound injury, your first concern is to get the appropriate care. However, if your injury was the result of another’s negligence or their bad actions, then you should not wait to contact an attorney who may be able to help you recover for some of the monetary, emotional, and physical damage you have suffered.
What are Open Head Wound Injuries?
The brain is undoubtedly the center of human functioning. It is responsible not just for the movements and actions we think about, but it is also responsible for many of the biological processes that we do not actively think about. For example, the brain is responsible for regulating internal temperature, hormone regulation, sleep and wake cycles, digestion, and even breathing. The brain is composed of hundreds of thousands of parts, each of which is responsible for a task. Therefore, any damage to the brain can result in immediate and permanent impairments. As you are undoubtedly aware, the brain is protected by your skull. Which is a series of eight cranial bones and fourteen facial skeleton bones all of which play a role in protecting the brain? However, these bones are not immune to damage, and can only absorb so much force before they break. A strong blow or strike to the head can result in the skull bones cracking, breaking, or shattering, leaving the brain open to serious and often permanent injuries.
An open head injury occurs when an object such as a bullet, backed by strong force, fractures the skull and damages brain tissue or the surrounding membranes. Other common causes of open head injuries include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, blunt force trauma, and falling objects.
Open head injuries not only cause internal damage, but they can also leave our most important organ susceptible to infection such as meningitis, which can cause permanent damage to the brain, and even be fatal.
What are the Different Types of Open Head Injuries?
Open head injuries are grievous injuries, which can result in death and permanent impairment. While the factors, which may lead to an open head injury are always different, medical professionals have identified the different types of head injuries.
- Linear skull fractures – A linear skull fracture occurs when a crack develops in any one of the cranial bones. However, in a linear skull fracture, there is no penetration of the brain tissue. However, this does not suggest that these injuries are not severe. The presence of a linear skull fracture can indicate that there is damage to surrounding blood vessels, or that the brain may be leaking cerebrospinal fluid. Both of these medical emergencies puts the brain at risk of further and permanent injuries.
- Depressed skull fracture – A depress skull fracture occurs when there is a strong force applied to any of the skull bones. Alternatively, pressure from within the brain may push against the skull bones and result in a depressed skull fracture. However, depressed skull fractures are most commonly seen when there has been a severe blunt force applied to the head, such as in a car accident. These injuries are often some of the most devastating injuries a person can suffer as bone fragments can cause severe disability, damage, and even death.
- Basilar & Diastatic skull fractures – These skull fractures are most prevalent in newborns and infants. Because a child’s skull needs to grow to accommodate brain growth the bones of the skull are not fused together until later in a child’s development. These injuries can cause developmental delays and in rare cases can cause the cerebrospinal fluid to leak from the brain.
One of the biggest concerns accompanying an open head injury is the chance that the brain will become infected if it is left exposed to the outside environment. In the event that you or someone you know has experienced an open head injury, you should seek immediate and emergency medical treatment.
Complications from Open Head Injuries
If the brain is damaged or injured it will most often result in physical and emotional impairments. Not only is the brain susceptible to physical trauma, but if left untreated, or not properly treated an open head wound can become infected. Anytime the brain is injured a person is vulnerable to other complications such as:
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Loss of Cognitive Function
- Dementia and Memory Loss
- Loss of Speech
- Loss of internal regulation
In addition to these physical complications, often brain injury victims must undergo extensive and lengthy rehabilitation. While medicine has continually developed a better understanding of not only how the brain works, but how the brain heals, the brain is only able to repair itself to a certain extent. Brain injury victims often suffer for years or decades while their brain heals, and many are not able to return to the life that they had before their accident or injury. Many of those who are injured are unable to continue working, which often leaves them unable to pay for their medical care and treatment.
Experienced Pennsylvania Brain Injury Attorneys
Open head injuries are a form of traumatic brain injury that can have devastating and long-term effects on a victim, as well as on the victim’s family and loved ones. Even after the initial trauma that caused an open head injury, the brain can sustain even more damage due to swelling, increased pressure on the brain, hemorrhage, edema, hematomas, blood clots, and ischemia, or lack of oxygen to the brain. Unfortunately, seizures, paralysis, dementia, coma, and death are common outcomes of catastrophic brain injuries. Victims of traumatic brain injury may lose their ability to breathe, communicate, walk, read, eat, bathe, or may end up in a vegetative state. They may also experience changes in personality, changes in behavior, have memory loss or impairment, experience slowed thinking, disturbed sleep, irritability, and develop depression.
Victims of open head injuries will often require lifelong medical care to deal with their injuries and disabilities. Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and occupational therapies are often required to help people suffering from traumatic brain injuries regain some abilities they once had. They may also require care of neuropsychologists, speech therapists, and psychologists. Sadly, some insurance carriers will not cover all of these types of treatments or long hospital stays, leaving victims and families with huge medical bills.
The experienced Philadelphia brain injury attorneys of Reiff & Bily may be able to help you through this difficult time, and get your compensation to help pay for your medical bills and loss of income. We understand the physical, emotional, and financial strain catastrophic injuries can bring to victims and their families. For over three decades, the lawyers at Reiff & Bily have fought battles for those who can’t fight for themselves and have won hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of catastrophically and wrongfully killed victims and their families. If you or a loved one was catastrophically injured and sustained an open head injury, our team of legal experts, doctors, and nurses has the experience, expertise, and tenacity to fight for justice.