Can individuals survive penetrating brain damage? What steps should individuals take when their loved ones suffer a penetrating head wound? When it comes to brain injuries, none are more severe than wounds that penetrate the skull and cause damage to brain tissue. While medical science has made tremendous strides involving the treatment and management of brain injuries, the brain damage caused by penetrating wounds is often fatal. Because of the high mortality rate associated with penetrating head wounds, loved ones should prepare themselves for an unfavorable outcome.
Causes of Penetrating Wounds
Penetrating head wounds can occur in car accidents, work-related accidents, slip and fall accidents, etc. Any object that has sufficient density can penetrate the skull if enough force is applied. This means gear shifters, steering wheels, door handles, tools, and other innocuous devices of daily life can cause lethal injuries.
While most people associate penetrating head wounds with bullets and other high-speed objects, the reality is that low-velocity penetrations are more common. When even slight pressure is applied to less protected areas, including the skull's temples or base, low-velocity penetrations are also possible. This is how slips and falls and other low-speed impacts can cause lethal head injuries.
What Happens When Objects Penetrate the Brain?
Penetrating head injuries cause severe brain damage. They are exceedingly lethal if the object crosses the midline, passes through the ventricles, or the posterior fossa. In addition to the immediate damage caused by the object itself, the kinetic injury that is released in the impact is even more serious.
When objects traveling at high speed penetrate the skull, they generate shockwaves that result in cavitation within the skull. This essentially rips the brain tissue apart, causing secondary brain injuries. Because these can't be seen, they are exceedingly difficult to treat.
Treatment & Prognosis of Penetrating Head Injuries
Treatment and prognosis of the penetrating wound depends on a wide entanglement of factors and their interaction with one another. Surgeons and doctors will work closely to determine the site of entry/exit wounds, the path of the object and the structures that were damaged, and whether there was any damage to the brain stem, basal ganglia, ventricles, etc. Once the severity of the traumatic brain injury is established, treatment can begin.
Surgical and non-surgical management is crucial. Patients who are fortunate enough to survive the penetration and subsequent surgical procedures have a long road toward recovery. This will involve CT scans and MRI analysis. It will involve physical therapy. And, in most cases, it will involve permanent, untreatable brain damage that can leave the individual paralyzed or in a vegetative state.
Compensation for Penetrating Traumatic Brain Injuries (pTBI)
pTBI's are among the most severe injuries anyone can suffer. Each year, it is estimated that approximately 1.9 million people suffer a skull fracture or intracranial injury that can cause a pTBI. When these injuries are caused in motor vehicle accidents, work-related accidents, etc., loved ones can pursue compensation, including:
- Medical care
- Surgical treatment
- Physical therapy
- Reconstructive surgical treatment
- Long-term care expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of consortium
- Funeral expenses
Contact Brad Pistotnik Law at 1-800-241-BRAD or call us on our local line at 316-684-4400. Brad Pistotnik is a traumatic brain injury attorney in Kansas who represents individuals who suffer brain damage in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, and Texas. It is our pleasure to schedule a free consultation with you. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. You can call Brad Pistotnik on his cell at 316-706-5020. You can reach Tony Atterbury on his cell at 316-617-9237.