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Brain Injuries: How Serious Can They Be?

Brain Injuries: How Serious Can They Be?

Brain Injuries: How Serious Can They Be?

When you hear “brain injury,” you may be thinking the worst of the worst. The truth is, not all brain injury accidents are severe. Although, often times, when someone suffers from a TBI (traumatic brain injury) they are unaware of the severity of the injury—as it’s hard to tell in certain situations and there may not be any glaring symptoms.

TBIs are typically caused by some sort of activity including high force—things like auto accidents, sports-related injuries (including hard hits), assault and battery, and even complications during labor. There are different levels of severity when it comes to brain injuries, ranging from mild to life-threatening.

These are some brain injuries along with the degree of the severity:


Due to the nature of concussions and how many different accidents may cause them, they are considered by many to be the most common form of brain injury. Concussions are caused when the brain rattles inside the skull—usually from some form of impact to the head or body.

Concussions are typically seen as a very mild form of TBI due to the fact that they usually come bearing short-term problems for the victim—such as fatigue, nausea, headaches, and mood changes.

However, as concussions are repeated, the severity of the injury rises—climbing even higher when the first concussion didn’t have enough time to heal fully. This is why so many athletes, especially in football, boxing, and hockey—have to be aware of whether or not they are concussed before returning.


When there is leaking blood in the brain, the brain may become compressed and cause damage to the surrounding areas—this is known as a hemorrhage.

When talking about a hemorrhage in the brain there are 2 subcategories:

Intracerebral Hemorrhaging - bleeding within the brain tissue

Subarachnoid Hemorrhaging - bleeding in the space surrounding the brain

These injuries may be considerably more severe than concussions in most cases. The severity depends greatly on the amount of bleeding—as more blood means greater damage more often than not.

Hypoxic-Anoxic Injury

When the brain gets its constant flow of oxygen cut off, it is known as an HAI (hypoxic-anoxic injury). HAIs occur when there isn’t the proper amount of oxygen flowing to the brain, from a number of reasons—suffocation, choking, hypotension, umbilical cord trouble during birth, and more.

Why is oxygen so important to us? The human body requires oxygen to metabolize glucose, a process which provides the body’s cells with energy to function. When there is a lack of oxygen, brain cells begin to die.

The severity of an HAI depends on the length of time the brain was without oxygen—although, usually any period of time without oxygen causes irreplaceable damage to the brain. This makes HAIs the most severe form of TBI due to the fact that the damage done is usually irreversible and can be life-threatening.

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