Focal Brain Injury Car Accident Blow to the Brain

Brad Nakase, Attorney


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A major collision during a car accident may cause a blow to brain resulting in focal brain injury.


Injury in one region of the brain is known as a focal point brain injury in comparison to the diffuse brain injury. Having injury in a specific area in the brain makes it easier to predict the trajectory of the injury. Focal brain injuries are more or less severe compared to diffuse injuries. However, the effects of a focal brain injury like any other brain injuries are dependent on the location and seriousness of the injury, commitment to recovery, quality care, and rehabilitation, and sometimes, luck. Brain injuries are unpredictable. Besides, some people may fully recover from brain injuries, while others may experience prolonged effects for several years. Therefore, while doctors may consider five reasonable prognoses, there is often no guarantee of recovery.


Causes of Focal Brain Injuries

An injury to one location is the cause of focal brain injuries. However, this does not imply that the injury will affect a single brain function. There are several small regions of the brained that control multiple and unrelated functions. Common causes of focal brain injuries may include;

  • Experiencing a blow to the head caused by sharp objects during an accident, violent assaults or sudden falls.
  • Blood clots that may travel to the brain hence blocking the transportation of oxygen to a specific region in the brain.
  • Brain lesions may reduce the supply of blood to a particular region of the brain.


On the other hand, a diffuse brain injury may be caused by the same factors. However, the difference comes in depending on whether the injury is on a single or multiple spots. In most cases, diffuse injuries are caused by shaking. Therefore, whiplash or a baby suffering from shaken baby syndrome after a car accident is a sign of diffuse brain injury.


Types of Focal Brain Injuries

There are two categories of focal brain injury; open and closed focal brain injuries. Open injuries are open, just as the name suggests. They are caused by a wound or physical cut such as a laceration on the skull created by a pole. On the other hand, closed focal brain injuries are caused by falls, blows, and medical misfortunes like stroke.

However, there are more classifications of focal brain injuries presented by doctors including;

  • Intraventricular hemorrhage where there is bleeding inside the ventricles of the brain.
  • Subdural Hemorrhage which happens when there is bleeding between the arachnoid and the dura mater of the brain.
  • Cerebral laceration which is caused by the laceration of the brain’s pia-arachnoid
  • Epidural hemorrhage which occurs when there is bleeding between the dura mater and the skull.
  • Cerebral contusion happens when the brain hits the skull and become bruised.


Symptoms of Focal Brain Injury

Symptoms only cannot be used to diagnose a focal brain injury. All brain injuries need immediate medical attention. Besides, after experiencing violent shaking, car accident, or a blow to the head but do not show any symptoms of brain injury, it is recommended that an individual seeks immediate medical help.

The distinguishing symptoms of a focal brain injury depend on the region affected. However, individuals may experience common symptoms that affect multiple domains since an injury to one region mat affects multiple functions. For example, one may have difficult moving the left side of the body and difficulty in remembering.


Some of the life-threatening symptoms of focal brain injury include;

  • Finding it challenging to stay awake
  • Challenge in concentrating
  • The sudden existence of fear, anxiety or depression
  • Numbness
  • Slurred speech
  • Noise or ringing of the ear
  • Severe headache
  • Change in consciousness


How to treat Focal Brain Injuries

Although it is possible to health from focal brain injuries, the prognosis depends on various factors such as overall health, local and severity of the injury, how fast one seeks medical attention, quality of care, and willingness of the individual to adhere to a rehabilitation program.


In some cases, one may need physical, speech, or occupational therapy alongside skills coaching education and psychotherapy. During the initial stages of recovery, an individual may feel frustrated and low in moods. With time, the symptoms lessen. Treatment aims to help the brain to re-learn how to do old tasks.


A doctor may reduce the chances of experiencing subsequent brain injuries, especially if the cause was brain lesion or stroke. Therefore, an individual will need to make lifestyle changes such as changing diet, adopting an exercise regimen, or learning ways for effective management of stress. However, seeking a second opinion is always an alternative if one disagrees with the recommendations issued by a doctor.

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