What is a closed head injury?

Head injuries are typically classified into one of two categories: open or closed.  A closed head injury is one that causes trauma but without any skull penetration. Damage is internal and often caused by extremely fast head movement from sudden impact or blunt force.

 Examples of closed head injuries:

Diffuse Axonal Injury – A type of traumatic brain injury (TBI), diffuse axonal injury occurs when the head suddenly jars or rotates. The skull moves quickly while the brain lags behind, which can cause structural damage and tearing. A sudden impact in an auto accident can cause the injury and result in brain damage, coma or death.

Concussion – Concussions are easily the most common type of brain injury. They may occur along with closed or open head injuries and present a wide range of symptoms and debilitating effects. When a person is injured in an auto accident, a blow to or sudden movement of the head may cause damage to cranial nerves and swollen blood vessels. The results may range from temporary dizziness and pain to years of symptoms from brain damage. Concussion victims may experience short spells of unconsciousness.

Contusion – Contusions are essentially bruises on the brain that are usually caused by blows to the head. Severe contusions may require surgery for removal.

Coup-Contrecoup Injury – Also called an acceleration/deceleration TBI, this injury occurs when a sudden stop or extreme acceleration forward causes the brain to slam into the inside of the skull. This can happen without any actual impact to the head.

Hemorrhage – This refers to internal bleeding that occurs when a blood vessel ruptures inside the brain.

Hematoma – When related to a TBI, hematoma refers to a swelling of blood within the tissues around the brain.

Closed head injuries can be difficult to pinpoint because they often present symptoms after the initial injury. Symptoms of a closed head injury may include:

  • Dizziness or loss of consciousness
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Persistent headaches
  • Fluid leaking from ears or nose
  • Speech and vision issues
  • Changes in behavior/mood swings

If you have questions about your car accident or closed head injuries, feel free to call one of our attorneys at Zychowicz Skeldon Ltd. The call and the advice is free. 419.842.1166

The content on this page should not be interpreted as or substituted for professional medical advice.  We are experienced in working with these injuries, but we are not doctors.