The cover story of the February issue of National Geographic, explored blast-induced traumatic brain injury. According to National Geographic, TBI is considered “the signature injury” suffered by American veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. On the battlefields, blast force, particularly that caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), may result in this type of blast-induced brain damage.
Symptoms of blast-related brain trauma range from sleeplessness and dizziness to mood changes and problems with memory and cognition. Like many brain injuries, diagnosis and treatment are somewhat unknown. In many cases, afflicted soldiers did not appear to have been close to shells, or appear visibly wounded. For a number of soldiers, symptoms appeared later and may not have been associated with a long ago deployment.
Much about blast-related TBI is unique to military experience, said National Geographic. However, traumatic brain injury from blast-related brain trauma appears to have many similarities to brain injury caused by an auto accident. For example, both TBIs may affect a victim’s physical abilities, cognition, emotional functioning and behavior.
There are a number of differences, as well. In serious car crashes, brain injuries are typically accompanied by serious physical injuries. Brain trauma in a car accident can occur when a person’s head hits an object like a steering wheel or windshield.
In either situation, for at TBI to occur, the skull does not need to be penetrated or fractured.
In the case of a vehicular accident the impact of the collision can cause the brain to jolt against the inside of a person’s skull. The reason this may happen is that when a moving head comes to a fast stop, the brain continues to move forward until it hits the interior of the skull. This can cause bruising of the brain (also known as a contusion), ruptured blood vessels within the brain tissue (concussion), and bleeding (brain hemorrhage) which may not be visible when the injury occurs.
Car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents are among the most common types of accidents that lead to traumatic brain injury. Individuals who sustain these types of injuries are often left with permanent disabilities that severely affect their way of life and-or require long-term rehabilitation.
Car accident victims in New York who have suffered a traumatic brain injury as a result of the negligence or wrongful action of another driver may be entitled to financial compensation. Medical expenses, including costs for long-term rehabilitation, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering are types of compensatory damages accident victims may be entitled to.
The National Geographic story cited is “Why is the Mystery of Blast Force Brain Injury So Tough to Solve?”