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What is an Acquired Brain Injury?

By on May 11, 2013 in General with 0 Comments

An acquired brain injury (ABI) is the way of referring to injuries that the brain suffers after a number of occurrences, including road traffic accidents. An ABI cannot be used to describe an injury that occurs at birth or as a result of birth trauma. Most commonly ABIs are due to RTAs and other tragic accidents.

Every ABI is completely unique but if it is due to an accident then there is scope for a brain injury claim. This is a personal decision and something you’d need to decide with the help of family and friends. Many of the long term problems associated with ABIs are cognitive which makes living with one even more difficult.

Acquired Brain InjuryWho’s affected?

There are no official statistics for the number of people currently living with ABIs but plenty of people are suffering and every time an RTA takes place there’s the risk of another injury occurring and therefore the possibility of another individual having to adapt to a new way of living. Of course there are different degrees of injury but many long-term problems are felt by those who suffer from one.

Types of Brain Injury

There are two main types of brain injury:

  • Traumatic
  • Non-Traumatic

A traumatic brain injury can then further be classed as an open or closed injury. A closed injury occurs when the brain is bounced against the skull due to a blow such as in an RTA. A closed injury can cause severe tearing or stretching of the brain tissue. These are the most common type of traumatic injury. An open injury is when something impacts with the skull, fractures it and enters the brain. Specific damage in a localised area is more common in this type of injury.

Non-traumatic brain injuries don’t have any impact or trauma involved, therefore are usually the result of things such as strokes, oxygen starvation or tumour growth.

Severity of Brain Injuries

Brain injuries are usually categorised as mild, medium or secure. The length of the post-traumatic amnesia or coma is usually used to gauge the severity of the injury. It’s believed up to 90% of brain injuries are thankfully classified as mild, often due to a minor collision and loss of consciousness that lasts less than 15 minutes. A severe brain injury can usually be diagnosed when the patient has been in a coma for at least 6 hours or has a post-traumatic amnesia period of over 24 hours. These cases often need surgery or significant time spent in intensive care.

Consequences of Brain Injury

The consequences of brain injury are far reaching. The longer the person is unconscious the larger number of consequences and symptoms they may have to deal with. There is a range of cognitive, physical and behavioural after effects of a brain injury including memory problems, long-term fatigue and in some instances bouts of inappropriate behaviour. There are unfortunately all sorts of unwanted symptoms people need to learn to live with.

Brain injury can be life changing and is something that thousands of people have to live with. Considering compensation when you realise the significant changes that can be needed to live a full life is something to keep in mind.

Wendy Ruth is a brain injury solicitor from Lewes. She specialises in severe brain injury claim cases usually after serious road traffic accidents.


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