What Are The Different Types Of Intracranial Injuries?

May 2, 2016 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
What Are The Different Types Of Intracranial Injuries? Mild to severe TBI's occur in unique instances that correlates to the patient's injury. The medical world has been able to differentiate between two separate types of brain injuries to help simplify the process of understanding how to treat the specific issue. The cause of intracranial bleeding or a hemorrhage is often triggered from a motorcycle or automobile accident or sports injury. Obvious intracranial injuries include those with evidence of pathology within the brain itself, intraparenchymal injuries as well as areas of bleeding around the brain but within the skull. Within CT scans, light and dark areas indicate blood within the tissue and the edema in comparison [1]. Yet, to fully understand a traumatic brain injury, it is worthy to be educated on the different types of bleeding and bruising in the brain as well as the options available to help treat such conditions.

Types of Brain Bleeds

  • Contusion
This form of injury refers to any type of bruise. A bruise forms when an injury breaks the blood vessels under the skin, causing the blood to pool together and look deep red and/or purple. When a brain suffers from a contusion, the bruise has the same effect, however, it cannot be easily seen because it is within the skull. Often times, brain contusions can be minor and will heal on their own without any specific treatment. A severe contusion can be life threatening due to the fact that the blood from this injury leaks into the skull cavity and exerts pressure on the brain which can cause additional brain damage [4].
  • Hemorrhage
Simply means bleeding and is caused by blood vessels that are broken and releasing blood either internally or externally. This type of injury is usually caused by more severe accidents or injuries such as a car crash or major hit. Cerebral hemorrhage, intracerebral hemorrhage and intra-axial hemorrhage are named to describe the specific area of the brain where this escaped blood is pooling into. A brain hemorrhage is often serious because blood collecting inside the skull's confined space creates pressure on delicate brain tissues potentially causing irreparable brain damage. Doctors will normally monitor the intracranial pressure and perform surgery to drain the fluid buildup [3].
  • Hematoma
Can be compared to a contusion as a pocket of blood in the body's tissues. In understanding head injuries, internal bleeding is often described based on how deep it is in relation to the three layers of the membrane surrounding the brain. A subdural hematoma occurs when blood vessels-usually veins- rupture between the brain and the outermost of three membrane layers that cover the brain or dura mater. The leaking causes a hematoma that compresses the brain tissue. If the hematoma keeps enlarging, a progressive decline in consciousness occurs—possibly fatal.
  • Acute-most dangerous and is caused by severe head injury and signs usually appear immediately
  • Subacute- signs and symptoms take a while to develop
  • Chronic- mild head injury that may cause much slower bleeding and symptoms can take a while to appear. May result in memory loss.
An epidural hematoma occurs when a blood vessel- usually an artery- ruptures between the outer surface of the dura meter and the skull. The blood then leaks between the dura mater and the skull to form a mass that compresses the brain tissue. Sometimes, people with this injury can remain conscious, however, must become drowsy or comatose from the moment of trauma. This could also be deadly. An intraparenchymal hematoma occurs when blood pools in the brain. After a brain injury, there may be severe intracerebral hematomas. This trauma often causes white matter shear injuries or torn axons in the brain's white matter. Axons carry electrical impulses or messages from the neurons in the brain to the rest of the body. When the connection is sheared, serious brain damage can result [2].

Treating Brain Bleeds

Many of the issues that result after a brain injury can be alleviated or helped by releasing the excess fluid and pressure in the brain. Two approaches that can work to decrease the pressure differ in how effective they can be with specific parts of the brain.
  • A ventriculostomy catheter is one approach that can relieve increased intracranial pressure by drilling a hole directly into the patient's skull thereby giving the catheter a pathway to the brain tissue and into one of the ventricles. This catheter allows some of the cerebrospinal fluid to escape, thus relieving the pressure on the brain itself.
  • A craniotomy may be performed to allow the blood to be suctioned from the area surrounding the brain. First, a bone flap is created by drilling three holes into the skull and then making cuts between them with a saw. The flap is then removed and the blood is drained from the areas above and beneath the dura. Sometimes, the flap is not restored because the pressure buildup causes concern over recurrence of the hematoma [1].

Contact the Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for Brain Injury Questions

Clearwater traumatic brain injury lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA understand the life changing effect Traumatic Brain Injuries have on both the victims and their families. If you or a loved one have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury, whether it be a Diffuse Axonal Injury or otherwise, as a result of a car accident or fall, contact us today. We will never relent in our advocacy for you, our client, against an insurance company and fight to ensure that you are compensated properly for the damages suffered. Our teams of experienced attorneys are constantly keeping up to date with the latest scientific and technological developments in the medical field. Not only do we have the resources to take on the biggest insurance providers, we also have the resources to ensure that you received the proper medical diagnosis and treatment. Call us today at 727-451-6900. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 727-451-6900 References: [1] https://www.legalexaminer.com/head-brain-injury-legal-help-center/traumatic-brain-injury/ [2] Intracranial hematoma [3] https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/hemorrhage [4] https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/contusion


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

Learn More