What Is the Difference Between Acquired Brain Injury and Traumatic Brain Injury?
Posted in Lawsuit on August 21, 2019
Our brains control our vital functions in our body – from our movement to our speech to our ability to reason, learn, and simply think. Damage to our brains can be incredibly debilitating and lead to lifelong issues, depending on the severity of the injury. There are two main types of brain injuries: acquired brain injuries, which an internal event causes, and traumatic brain injuries, which an external force causes.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force or event hurts the brain tissue, leading to bruising, bleeding, torn tissues, and other injuries. These injuries can range from mild damage to severe, lifelong complications. Common causes of traumatic brain injury include a blow to the head, a violent jolt, or penetration of the skull.
Because the brain is a vital organ in our body and controls our cognitive and physical functions, traumatic brain injuries can have serious impacts on our day to day lives. Many people who suffer from these injuries report loss of movement, difficulty thinking, concentrating, and remembering, and difficulty performing everyday tasks without assistance.
Traumatic brain injuries can have a wide variety of cognitive and physical symptoms.
- Loss of consciousness
- Headache, nausea, and vomiting
- Convulsions and seizures
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Loss of coordination
- Confusion and dizziness
- Agitation and mood swings
- Clear fluids draining from the nose and ears
- Slurred speech
- Coma or inability to wake up
If you suffer an injury to the head, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms of traumatic brain injury can occur hours or even days after the initial injury, and the first moments after an injury are vital to prevent further damage.
What Is an Acquired Brain Injury?
An acquired brain injury occurs when damage happens to brain nerve fibers as a result of cell death or trauma. Unlike a traumatic brain injury, acquired brain injuries occur due to an internal event instead of external force. However, the internal event can occur as a result of a traumatic brain injury accident, such as a motor vehicle accident, falls, assault, or a workplace injury.
Swelling, bleeding, disease, and a loss of oxygen can all contribute to an acquired brain injury. Non-accident causes of this damage include the following.
- Stroke and aneurysm
- Tumors, either benign or malignant
- Chemical exposure
- Kidney or heart failure
- Drug overdose
- Near drowning
An acquired brain injury can have the same cognitive, physical, and behavioral impacts as a traumatic brain injury. However, we usually do not notice the onset of an acquired brain injury until it is too late – leading to lifelong, sometimes irreversible damage.
Acquired brain injury can occur following an initial injury or due to one of the events listed above. You can develop an acquired brain injury days after an initial event – and this makes seeking medical attention crucial.
When to See a Doctor for a Brain Injury
You should see a doctor immediately after you suffer a head injury. You may feel like you do not have an injury at first, but remember that symptoms can take days to appear after the initial accident. In addition, you could risk developing an acquired brain injury. Medical attention is crucial especially if you lose consciousness, slip into a coma, or start having a seizure.
Acquired brain injuries are especially a cause for concern, since we often do not notice their onset following an accident. We can go to the doctor for initial treatment after a traumatic brain injury, and develop symptoms of an acquired brain injury days later. As soon as you begin to feel symptoms of a head injury after seeking medical attention, go back to the doctor or hospital as soon as possible.
Whether you suffer from an acquired brain injury or a traumatic brain injury, the damage can be severe and long-lasting. If someone else’s negligence led to your brain injury, you could claim compensation for the expensive treatment costs. Contact an injury attorney as soon as possible to learn more about filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit.