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What is the Difference Between Acquired Brain Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Medical bills from brain injuries can often exceed $100,000. But these staggering costs, which may not be covered by health insurance, only account for a portion of an injured person’s damages.

Brain injuries are permanent. Once brain cells die, they never regenerate. But, a combination of delicate surgery and extensive physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms. And fortunately, if caught early enough, some treatments can help brain injuries from getting worse, though even a mild concussion without loss of consciousness is “associated with more than a 2-fold increase in the risk of dementia diagnosis.”

An experienced Kansas City personal injury attorney does more than give victims access to the financial resources they need. Because they hold negligent parties responsible for their actions, attorneys also obtain justice for these victims.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

As the name implies, blows to the head cause most traumatic brain injuries. That could be a strong, sudden blow, or even the back and forth movement of the head in a coup contrecoup injury (like in car accidents or falls), or it could be the cumulative effect of smaller trauma incidents. Successive concussions and traumatic brain injuries often compound the effects of an earlier brain injury.

Sometimes, just the motion of a crash or fall is enough to cause a TBI. Contrary to popular belief, the brain does not fit snugly against the skull. Instead, the skull is essentially a water tank full of cerebrospinal fluid. That fluid holds the brain in place. When the head shakes violently, the brain is forced to smack against the inside of the skull. It is like shaking an egg and scrambling it without cracking the shell.

Many car crashes also cause noise-related head injuries. Witnesses often say that high-speed wrecks sound like explosions. These sudden loud noises trigger shock waves that disrupt brain functions. So, even if a car crash victim suffers no visible injuries, the victim could still have a head injury.

That is why it is always important to seek medical treatment after a wreck or fall. Many victims simply do not know how badly they are injured. And, most doctors are not adept to adequately treat brain injuries—often specialists like a neurologist is necessary.

Acquired Brain Injuries

A number of cardiovascular and other conditions cause Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs), mostly because of hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain).

ABIs usually do not occur slowly over time, and newborn shoulder dystocia injuries are a good example. If the baby is too large to drift down the mother’s birth canal, the umbilical cord applies pressure to the baby’s neck. The resulting hypoxia could cause cerebral palsy in as little as five minutes.

Medical misdiagnosis is often the root cause of shoulder dystocia. During prenatal visits, doctors either do not see the warning signs or they disregard them with an “I’ve got this” overconfidence. Misdiagnosis also causes many other ABIs, mostly because head injuries are difficult to diagnose.

At first, head injury symptoms mirror many other conditions. As mentioned, many victims say they “feel fine.” The brain is very adept at concealing its own injuries. As a result, many doctors do not ask additional questions to perform key diagnostic tests.

So, ABI symptoms progress to things like headaches and personality changes. At this point, the injuries are more difficult, and more expensive, to treat. Once again, early treatment from an experienced physician is often the key to injury management.

Rely on the Experience of a Dedicated Attorney

Aaron M. House has represented many victims who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury. If you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, contact Aaron M. House at 816-875-4260 today for a free consultation.

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