Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries: Contusions and Coup-Contrecoup Head Injuries

When someone is involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, slip and fall accident, or accident caused by dangerous and defective products, there is always a chance of suffering a brain injury. For example, someone’s head may hit the floor in a slip and fall accident or strike the steering wheel or windshield in a car accident. While some hits to the head don’t end up causing serious damage, some incidents result in traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can be severe. Unfortunately, a TBI can even be deadly.

In this article, we will be discussing contusions and coup-contrecoup brain injuries—types of traumatic brain injuries—that result in bruising and bleeding on the brain. Both of these types of brain injuries are caused because the brain collides inside the hard skull due to a direct impact of the head or when a moving head comes to a sudden stop.

What Is a Contusion?

When a person suffers a blow to the head, it may result in a contusion. Contusions are actually bruises on the brain that cause bleeding of the brain. When a contusion is very severe, swelling in the brain will happen. Unfortunately, serious contusions can lead to brain damage that can result in any of the following adverse effects:

  • Emotional issues
  • Memory loss
  • Attention problems
  • Motor coordination difficulties
  • Inability to verbally express or understand speech
  • Coma

What Is a Coup-Contrecoup Brain Injury?

A coup-contrecoup injury is similar to a contusion except that it involves an additional contusion of the brain. Also, a direct impact of the head doesn’t have to occur for someone to suffer this type of brain injury because it is the movement of the brain inside the skull that causes the injury.

For example, when a violent motion or impact brings someone’s head to a stop, the brain can slam into the opposite side of the skull. When this happens, a person will suffer a contusion at the site of impact as well as a contusion on the opposite side of the brain. When the brain bounces back and forth inside of the head, a person can suffer damage to two areas of the brain. This type of brain injury often leads to diffuse damage, which is brain damage over a widespread area that results in brain tissues being damaged.

When swelling inside the brain occurs and brain tissue is damaged, a serious brain injury is the result. If you or a loved one has been negatively impacted by a contusion or coup-contrecoup brain injury, please call our law office for a free consultation at (703) 591-0067 or fill out a short form on our Contact Us page and we will connect with you soon.