Recognizing and Understanding Coup-Contrecoup

Inova and Reston treat hundreds of emergency head injuries on a daily basis. From icepacks and stitches to traumatic brain injury (TBI) treatments, these emergency rooms have it covered. However, some head injuries can be deceptive when it comes to the amount of damage they inflict. Some injuries appear to be simple bumps or bruises, while in actuality they could be indications of a far worse TBI called coup-contrecoup.

What is Coup-Contrecoup?

The term coup-contrecoup is used when a single blunt force injury causes internal damage to both the site of impact as well as the opposite side of the brain. The force of the initial blow will most likely cause easily diagnosable injuries such as contusions or cuts to the outside of the skull; however, if the force causes the brain to be “knocked” around or collide with the skull, this could cause multiple TBI injuries that are harder to diagnose. MRIs are generally required to diagnose and identify the common brain injuries associated with coup-contrecoup, such as:

  • Bruising
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Contusions
  • Swelling

When it comes to brain injuries, time lost is brain lost, so if you’ve been misdiagnosed or mistreated for coup-contrecoup, the consequences could be horrendous. An experienced TBI lawyer can help you get the justice and treatment you deserve. Don’t allow your doctor’s mistake to cost you everything. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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