A penetrating brain injury, also known as an open head injury, occurs when an object penetrates the skull and enters the brain but does not exit. In penetrating events, injuries may occur not only from the initial laceration and crushing of brain tissue by the projectile but also from subsequent cavitation.
Head injuries caused by penetrating trauma often cause permanent disability or death.
As in a closed head injury, intracranial pressure is likely to increase due to swelling or bleeding, potentially crushing delicate brain tissue. Most deaths from penetrating trauma are caused by damage to blood vessels, which can lead to intracranial hematomas.
Joe Lyon is a highly-rated Cincinnati, Ohio personal injury attorney, reviewing traumatic brain injury and medical malpractice cases for plaintiffs nationwide.
Causes of Penetrating Brain Injury
Penetrating injuries are typically caused by high-velocity objects, but can also be caused by low-velocity objects. One of the most common causes of penetrating injury is skull fracture, in which bone fragments from the skull penetrates the brain.
Skull fractures can be caused by any blow to the head, including traffic accidents, a fall, athletic injuries, or VA claims.
Treatment and Prognosis of Penetrating Injuries
Penetrating head injuries are evaluated using X-ray, CT scan, or MRI. Surgery may be required repair the injury or to relieve excessive pressure. Despite the prevalence of these injuries, mortality rates for penetrating head injuries remains high. Patients who live though these serious injuries can expect to have issues related to the area of the brain that is damaged.
Approximately 50 percent of patients with penetrating brain injuries experience late-onset post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). People with penetrating head trauma may have the following complications:
• Acute respiratory distress syndrome
• Disseminated intravascular coagulation
• Neurogenic pulmonary edema
The Lyon Firm is dedicated to representing injured plaintiffs following accidents and injuries. We can seek compensation to recover medical expenses, long-term disability and other damages.