Craig Rosenbaum | April 4, 2022 | Brain Injuries
Brain injuries can happen in a variety of ways. Each manner of injury can affect symptoms and prognosis differently.
A mild brain injury, such as a mild concussion, can still produce severe symptoms. Mild injuries rarely cause death and often clear up on their own over the course of a few months. However, severe brain injuries like coup contrecoup brain injuries can produce long-lasting or even fatal symptoms.
Here are some facts about the causes and effects of a coup contrecoup brain injury.
What Does Your Brain Do?
Your brain is the core of your central nervous system. It controls everything in your body, from your muscles to your organs.
Your brain sends autonomic signals to your organs to regulate them. The brain sends these signals without any conscious thought.
Autonomic signals control involuntary functions like:
- Blood pressure
- Body temperature
- Sexual arousal
Your brain also sends motor signals to your muscles. These signals tell your muscles to move your body.
Finally, your brain receives sensory signals from your eyes, ears, tongue, skin, and nose. Your brain uses these signals to form an image of the world and control your physical, mental, and emotional states.
How Is Your Brain Protected?
Your brain is protected by your skull and the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in which your brain sits.
The skull protects your brain from impacts by foreign objects. The CSF slows the motion of the brain. Together, they shield and cushion the brain from ordinary jostling.
What Are Coup Contrecoup Brain Injuries?
Sometimes forces overcome these layers of protection. These forces result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) like concussions, contusions, and diffuse axonal injuries. TBIs damage or kill brain cells, resulting in physical, mental, and emotional symptoms.
Contusions happen when the brain hits the inside of the skull. This impact bruises the brain. The bleeding starves brain cells of oxygen, causing them to die.
It also causes pressure to build up in the brain. This pressure can squeeze blood vessels, spreading damage to other areas of the brain that did not get bruised. This type of injury can cause permanent brain damage or even death.
A coup contrecoup brain injury involves two contusions on opposite sides of the brain. As you might suspect, two contusions can cause substantially more damage than just one.
How Do Coup Contrecoup Injuries Happen?
Coup contrecoup injuries happen when the brain whips back and forth in the CSF with enough force to hit the skull, rebound, and hit the skull on the opposite side. These impacts produce the two contusions that characterize a coup contrecoup injury.
This kind of injury can result from many types of accidents. For example, in a car accident, colliding with a vehicle in front of you will cause your head to swing forward. Your brain slides forward in your skull and hits the front of your skull.
Now suppose that you get hit from behind in a chain reaction accident. Your head will whip backward from the impact, causing your brain to hit the back of your skull.
As a result of these two impacts, you now have contusions on both the front and back of your brain.
What Are the Dangers of Coup Contrecoup Injuries?
As your brain bleeds and swells from these two injuries, you will experience severe symptoms that may include:
- Loss of consciousness
In extreme cases, a coup contrecoup injury causes such severe damage that the accident victim dies.
When an accident victim survives a coup contrecoup injury, they will often need extensive medical treatment, including surgery to relieve the pressure on the brain. The victim will typically need physical and mental health therapy during their long recovery.
Contact a New York City Personal Injury Lawyer For Help After a Coup Contrecoup Brain Injury
If someone else’s negligence caused your coup contrecoup brain injury, you can pursue compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Contact our New York City personal injury lawyers at Rosenbaum & Rosenbaum, P.C. in Manhattan, NY, to schedule a free consultation and need legal help.