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Common types of brain injuries include:
Second-Impact Syndrome (SIS) – This refers to a rapid swelling of the brain. It is caused by a concussion occurring when the victim is still recovering from an earlier concussion. In some cases, this could be weeks after the original concussion was sustained. It can often prove fatal.
Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI) – This is a term given to a kind of trauma over a widespread area of the brain. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common types of traumatic brain injury. It can result in unconsciousness, a persistent vegetative state, and death. If consciousness is regained, there is expected to be a high degree of physical and mental impairment.
Hypoxic-Anoxic Injuries (HAI) – This covers injuries caused by a partial or complete lack of oxygen to the brain. The brain needs a constant supply of oxygen to function, if the supply is stopped, or insufficient, then brain function will be immediately impaired. After around four minutes without oxygen, lasting damage to brain tissue can occur, leading to the risk of serious cognitive impairment. There are many possible causes, including choking, chemical poisoning, or complications at birth.
Cerebral contusion – This term refers to a bruising of the brain tissue. A cerebral contusion occurs when the small blood vessels in an area of the brain are damaged, causing blood to leak from them. Cerebral contusions can cause a decline in long-term mental function.
Coup-contrecoup injury – This term refers to a pattern of cerebral contusions (see above) which can occur at the impact site of a trauma and also upon the opposite side of brain. It happens when strong forces are involved: the initial impact causes one contusion, then the ‘recoil’ effect leads to the brain hitting the inside of the skull on the opposite side, resulting in another area of the brain being damaged.
Concussion – Concussions are temporary brain injuries caused by a trauma. Their symptoms normally occur straightaway but can appear at a later time, even up to a few days after the trauma. At their most minor, concussion symptoms can include: headaches, dizziness, and nausea. More severe symptoms, however, include: memory loss, persistent vomiting, behavioural changes, and sensory impairment. It is important to monitor concussion symptoms carefully in case they indicate a more serious brain injury. Whilst recovering, it is also very important to avoid any further concussions – (see Second-Impact Syndrome above)
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