Brain injuries are typically divided into two categories: traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and acquired brain injuries (ABI). TBIs are typically defined as alterations in brain function caused by an external force, while ABIs are typically defined as non traumatic injuries to the brain that have occurred after birth. Examples of TBIs include concussions, contusions (bruising or bleeding on the brain), diffuse axonal injuries (caused by shaking or strong rotation of head), coup-contre coup (contusions present at site of impact and on opposite side of the brain) and penetration (impact from bullet, knife or sharp object). Examples of ABIs include anoxic (when brain does not receive oxygen) and hypoxic (when brain received some, but not enough oxygen) brain injuries. Leading causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls (40.5 percent), motor vehicle accidents (14.3 percent), struck by/against (15.5 percent), assault (10.7 percent) and unknown/other (19 percent). Because no two brain injuries are alike, treatment varies depending on severity of a patient’s injury. Treatment may include rehabilitation programs, outpatient/inpatient therapy, home health services, independent living programs and community re-entry.
Organizations exist that provide support and resources to individuals and families experiencing brain injuries in their lives.