Head injuries can range in severity, but a serious one could have complications that last a lifetime because of the effects on the brain.
Johns Hopkins Medicine describes head injuries that can affect the brain and may occur because of trauma, such as a car accident.
Diffuse axonal injury
Diffuse axonal injury affects nerve cells throughout the brain. A car accident can cause the head to shake violently, which is the mechanism of injury. DAI is a severe injury that can put a person into a coma.
A hematoma is a collection of partially clotted blood. Intracranial means that it occurs inside the skull. This can happen due to internal bleeding in the skull that has nowhere to flow out. There are three types of intracranial hematomas:
- Intracerebral hematoma, or bleeding inside the brain
- Subdural hematoma, or bleeding between the brain and the membranes that cover it
- Epidural hematoma, or bleeding inside the skull but outside the brain and the membranes that cover it
Depending on its severity, an intracranial hematoma may require surgery to remove.
A skull fracture is a break in the bone of the head. Some skull fractures are mild and do not require much medical intervention. However, there is a chance that a severe skull fracture could also damage the brain, especially if there is also an object that penetrates the skull.
A concussion is another head injury that can occur from a car accident. It is usually mild and resolves completely on its own. However, recurrent concussions can cause severe damage over time.