Most head injuries are caused by contact or acceleration/deceleration forces, or a combination of those factors, according to experts.
Contact injuries such as skull fractures, extradural hematomas, laceration/contusion-related subdural hematomas and contusions, come about when the head strikes or is struck by an object. These injuries are only sustained by direct impacts. Contusions, or bruises, are caused by damage to the blood vessels due to forces compressing an area of the brain by deforming the skull, or by the forces created when a bowed-in portion of the skull suddenly snaps back into place.
Injuries caused by acceleration and deceleration cause damage to the brain cells themselves, doctors have learned. Violent head motion can create forces that cause stresses in the brain which cannot be determined by the means that caused the head motion.
‘Deep strains’ result in concussion syndromes and ‘surface strains’ cause bleeding and bruising on the surface of the brain, according to studies.
Direct impacts to the head, whether caused by falls, traffic accidents, or assault where the head is not restrained from moving, will produce acceleration and deceleration forces, in addition to the force from any impact sustained. An indirect impact can still produce the acceleration and deceleration forces, doctors have learned, due to the violence of head movement after something like a rear-end collision. The mechanisms of brain injury are still, in many ways a mystery, which often makes treatment difficult, and every case unique.
Hospitals in Nassau and Staten Island have confirmed these findings.
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