Coup Contrecoup brain injury can cause contusions (bruises) both at the site of the impact and on the complete opposite side of the brain. This occurs when a force impacting the head is great enough to slam the brain into the opposite side of the skull, and cause an additional contusion.
Coup and contrecoup injuries occur in specific spots in the brain, particularly common in the lower part of the frontal lobes and the front part of the temporal lobes. The brain stem, frontal lobe, and temporal lobes are particularly vulnerable because of their location near bony protrusions. The frontal lobe is almost always injured due to its large size and its location near the front of the cranium.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Cincinnati Personal Injury Attorney representing injured plaintiffs nationwide.
Causes of Coup Contrecoup Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries typically result from accidents in which the head strikes an object. Common events causing coup-contrecoup brain injury include the following:
• Falls are the most common cause of traumatic brain injury, particularly in older adults and young children.
• Motor vehicle collisions are the most common cause of closed head injuries for teenagers and young adults.
• About 20 percent of traumatic brain injuries are caused by violence, such as gunshot wounds, domestic violence or child abuse.
• Sports injuries, particularly from high-impact or extreme sports in youth.
• Explosive blasts and other combat injuries.
• Alcohol and drug use contribute to many cases of severe head trauma in younger patients.
• Bleeding in or around the brain, swelling, and blood clots can disrupt the oxygen supply to the brain and cause wider damage.
Coup Contrecoup Brain Injury Symptoms
Brain injuries can result in short-term or long-term medical conditions, behavioral changes, physical disabilities, and cognitive deficits. Recovery from a traumatic brain injury will depend on the severity of damage. Symptoms and deficits of a coup contrecoup brain injury may include:
• Bleeding or bruising around the head or neck
• Loss of blood or a clear fluid (cerebrospinal fluid) from the ears or nose
• Weakness or paralysis in one or more parts of the body
• Spasticity or stiffness in one or more parts of the body
• Difficulty with range, balance, speed, coordination, or timing of movement
• Changes in personality or mood
• Interruptions in abilities to use language
• Problems chewing or swallowing
• Vision and hearing impairments