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September 9, 2009 / Mark Kerrigan

Devastating Damage Is Not Always Seen

human_skull_interior_02It seems like the more I research videos and stories about head injuries, traumatic brain injury, etc., I find something which really resonates with me when watching the video or reading the article. The doctor who describes what happens to the brain when someone’s head hits the dashboard helps describe in detail what occurs. Short video:

What many people don’t seem to understand is that the inside of a person’s skull has sharp, jagged points sticking down (see photo above), and that the brain is kind of “floating” in a fluid. So when the head stops abruptly, the brain keeps going in whatever direction it was traveling when the head hit the object. This effect is called coup-contre-coup and as a result, often the survivor may have some hemi-paralysis–or partial paralysis–on the side opposite the impact.

When the brain collides with the interior of the skull, bleeding on the surface and inside the brain often occurs. Blood clots on the outside of the brain are called epidural hematomas, which is what I had after my car wreck. If blood clots inside the brain matter, that’s called a subdural hematoma, and I believe these are much more severe with more lasting (devastating) effects.


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