A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury from an external force that affects the functioning of the brain. It can be caused by a bump or blow to the head (closed head injury) or by an object penetrating the skull (called a penetrating injury). Some TBIs result in mild, temporary problems, but a more severe TBI can lead to serious physical and psychological symptoms, coma, and even death.
TBI includes (but is not limited to) several types of injury to the brain:
- Skull fracture occurs when the skull cracks. Pieces of broken skull may cut into the brain and injure it, or an object such as a bullet may pierce the skull and enter the brain.
- Contusion is a bruise of the brain, in which swollen brain tissue mixes with blood released from broken blood vessels. A contusion can occur from the brain shaking back and forth against the skull, such as from a car collision or sports accident or in shaken baby syndrome.
- Intracranial hematoma (pronounced in-truh-KREYnee- uhl hee-ma-TOH-muh) occurs when damage to a major blood vessel in the brain or between the brain and the skull causes bleeding.
- Anoxia (pronounced an-OK-see-uh), absence of oxygen to the brain, causes damage to the brain tissue.
Source: Welcoa.org, Welcoa Health Bulletins