Traumatic head injuries are a major cause of death and disability, but it might be best to refer to the damage done as traumatic brain injury. Some refer to these injuries as closed-head injuries.
The purpose of the head, including the skull and face, is to protect the brain against injury. In addition to the bony protection, the brain is covered in tough fibrous layers called meninges and bathed in fluid that may provide a little shock absorption.
When the head is subjected to trauma, loss of brain function can occur even without visible damage to the head. Force applied to the head may cause the brain to be directly injured or shaken, bouncing against the bony inner wall of the skull. The trauma can potentially cause bleeding in the spaces surrounding the brain, bruise the brain tissue or damage the nerve connections within the brain. Often the shearing or tearing of brain tissue and nerves is so miniscule even the most sophisticated imagery cannot identify it.
Caring for a young child under the age of 2 who has sustained a head injury is different than caring for the adult victim with a head injury, in large part due to the child’s inability to communicate.
Infants are much more likely to sustain a closed-head injury due to a fall. Toddlers tend to fall as they learn to walk, and falls remain the number one cause of head injury in children. While guidelines exist regarding the evaluation of head injury victims, they tend to be applied to those older than 2 years of age.
A minor head injury in an infant is described by the American Academy of Pediatrics as the following: a history or physical signs of blunt trauma to the scalp, skull, or brain in an infant or child who is alert or awakens to voice or light touch. Infants are usually unable to complain about headache or other symptoms. Therefore, basic guidelines as to when to seek medical care can include the following:
Altered mental status. The child is not acting or behaving normally for that child.
Scalp abnormalities including lacerations and swelling that may be associated with skull fracture, forehead contusions tend to be less worrisome than occipital (back of the head) contusions.
At the Carse Law Firm, we have represented numerous brain-injured clients in connection with injury litigation. The effects of a brain-injury can be and often are life and career altering. The simplest of tasks can become burdensome and frustrating, resulting in a newfound source of much frustration. Brain injury litigation requires a caring and sensitive approach to these individuals. If you or a loved one has sustained a closed-head injury due to the negligence of another, please call us toll-free at 877.265.2580 or send us an email for a free no-obligation confidential consultation. Do not delay in seeking competent legal assistance, as time is critical in these types of cases. Call today.