What’s A Closed Head Injury? Is It Worse Than Open Head Injuries?

It was all a blur. One second you were dropping your little boy off at Chesterbrook; the next you were getting a call that he was taken to Inova after falling off the swing set. The principal didn’t have much information other than he fell and hit his head. As you rushed to the emergency room, all you could think about is how severe your baby’s injuries are and what the doctor is going to tell you.

You wait for about 15 minutes until the doctor comes out and tells you that the fall caused hadn’t caused any visible open head wounds, but he’s still trying to rule out any possible closed head trauma.

Open head? Closed head? What does that mean?

Closed Head Injury Risks Compared to Open Head Injury Risks

Closed head injuries are injuries that affect the brain without affecting the skull. Although the internal damage can be disastrous, the skull remains intact. Open head injuries are injuries where the skull is breached by an outside force.

Both open and closed head trauma are serious medical emergencies and require immediate medical attention. They both have varying degrees for concern. Either trauma should be addressed as soon as possible, but if you suffer from a head injury, you should know these important facts that distinguish a closed head injury from an open head injury.

  • Open head injuries are easily identifiable and diagnosed. Closed head injuries can be easily missed or misdiagnosed as minor ailments such as headaches or fatigue.
  • Open head injuries usually involve penetrations, fractures, or lacerations to the head and skull. Closed head injuries generally result from falls, impact force, blood clots, strokes, and sport-related accidents
  • Penetrating open head injuries are approximately 92 percent fatal, but do not happen that often. Closed head injuries are more common, making up 75 percent of the 17 million annual brain trauma accidents in the United States; they are the leading cause of death and cognitive impairment in children and young adults.
  • Open head injuries appear more gruesome and urgent, and can have devastating if not fatal risks. However, closed head injuries can cause far more serious damage over time, because they are often not diagnosed immediately or, worse, misdiagnosed.

No matter what kind of head injury you suffer, medical treatment should be your top priority. You should never gamble that your injury may be minor, especially since even a small bump could cause internal hemorrhaging. If you experience any type of head injury, accident, or trauma, be on the safe side and seek medical attention immediately. It should rule out possible brain damage and possibly save your life.

Contact a Fairfax Head Injury Lawyer

Are you concerned that a recent accident has permanently affected your loved one’s cognitive abilities? Need advice or just a guiding hand to help you pursue an injury claim? Contact us today for a free consultation. We’re here to help you get the justice, treatment, and compensation you and your family deserve. Don’t put off getting the peace of mind and support you require during this time of need. Call (703) 721-4233 now to let us help you!


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