What Are the Most Severe Catastrophic Brain Injuries?

Catastrophic Brain Injuries in OhioInjuries to the head and brain demand immediate attention and should be treated with utmost seriousness due to their potential for life-altering consequences. The human brain, as the control center for various bodily functions, is particularly vulnerable to trauma, and the impact of head injuries can extend far beyond the initial incident. Whether caused by accidents, falls, or other traumatic events, injuries to the head and brain require swift and comprehensive medical evaluation. Even seemingly minor head injuries can lead to severe consequences, including cognitive impairment, sensory deficits, and emotional changes.

What is a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of acquired brain injury caused by an external force or trauma to the head. TBIs can result from various incidents, including falls, car accidents, sports injuries, assaults, or other types of impacts. The severity of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe, and the effects can be temporary or permanent.

What are the most severe brain injuries?

Catastrophic brain injuries are severe and often life-altering injuries that can have profound consequences on a person’s physical, cognitive, and emotional functions. The most catastrophic brain injuries typically involve extensive damage to the brain and may result in permanent disabilities. Some of the most severe types of brain injuries include:

  • Diffuse Axonal Injury (DAI): DAI is a type of TBI where widespread damage occurs to the brain’s axons, disrupting communication between nerve cells. This can lead to widespread cognitive and neurological deficits.
  • Hypoxic brain injury: This injury results from a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. It can occur due to conditions such as cardiac arrest, near-drowning, or severe respiratory failure, leading to widespread brain damage.
  • Penetrating brain injury: Penetrating injuries occur when an object penetrates the skull and damages the brain tissue. These injuries often result from gunshot wounds, stabbings, or other incidents involving sharp objects.
  • Brain hemorrhage: A brain hemorrhage is a type of bleeding within the brain. Subarachnoid hemorrhage and intracerebral hemorrhage can both cause significant damage, leading to neurological deficits.
  • Cerebral edema: Severe brain injuries can cause edema (swelling) in the brain, leading to increased intracranial pressure. This pressure can compress brain structures and cause further damage.
  • Epidural hematoma. Hematoma is the medical term for “bruise,” but an epidural hematoma can be life-threatening. They are often the result of a skull fracture. As the Cleveland Clinic explains, “If you have an EDH, you’ve likely had a tear in a blood vessel, usually an artery but sometimes a vein, and blood is leaking into the dura mater. The blood that leaks forms a pocket that bulges out and puts pressure on your brain. This pressure can cause more brain injury.” It is fatal about 15% of the time.
  • Second impact syndrome: Second Impact Syndrome (SIS) occurs when a person sustains a second concussion before fully recovering from the first. This can lead to rapid and severe brain swelling, posing life-threatening risks.

Pediatric brain injuries may be the most severe of all

Any damage to a child’s brain can be catastrophic, even if the injury is categorized as “mild,” like a concussion. This is because the brain keeps developing until a person is in his or her early 20s. Any damage done during childhood, then, can have a ripple effect.

If your child sustains a brain injury – at school, at birth, playing sports, in a car accident, and so forth – it can potentially affect every part of his or her life. Your child could suffer cognitive disabilities or mobility issues, or struggle with fine motor skills. He or she may need additional educational support or around-the-clock care. In the most severe cases, children with brain injuries may need multiple forms of therapy (physical, occupational, speech) multiple times a week. They may require wheelchairs or orthotic devices like braces. Some brain injuries can leave your child paralyzed.

We point this out not to scare you, but because the financial burden of raising a child with a severe developmental and/or physical injury can be significant. Catastrophic brain injuries require comprehensive medical care, rehabilitation, and often long-term support. The consequences can extend to your child’s ability to perform daily activities, engage in meaningful relationships, and lead an independent life. At Soroka & Associates, we don’t think you should have to shoulder that burden on your own. If someone caused your child irreparable harm, our Columbus brain injury lawyers can help you hold that person or entity to account.

At Soroka & Associates, our dedicated team of attorneys understands the profound impact that severe brain injuries can have on individuals and their families. If you’ve suffered a severe brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness, our Columbus brain injury lawyers are here to help. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your options, call us at our Columbus office, or use our contact page. We proudly serve clients throughout central Ohio.