You may have read about the dangers of a closed head injury after a car accident or a serious trauma. But now that someone in your family has suffered an open head injury, you’re wondering how different the two conditions are—and how you can help your loved one recover as soon as possible.
The first step to understanding an open head injury is through the way it is medically classified. The following types of skull fractures and terms are commonly associated with Kentucky open head injuries:
- Compound skull fracture – In this injury, the skull has been fractured and the scalp is cut, increasing the risk of infection,
- Depressed skull fracture – The broken piece of skull bone may move inward toward the brain, putting pressure on the grey matter or even slicing through it if the fragments are sharp.
- Basilar skull fracture – If the skull has been broken at the base of the skull, the injury may damage the nerves and blood vessels that pass through the opening of the skull into the neck.
- Diastatic skull fracture – These fractures occur along the cranial sutures in infants and children. The cranial fissures are not completely fused until later in life, and an injury to the developing child’s head may cause the bone segments to separate along the “seams” of the skull.
- Cribriform plate fracture – Trauma to the face may fracture the thin plate behind the nose (cribriform plate) causing cerebral spinal fluid to leak out the nose.
- Battle's Sign – A fracture to the skull near the ear may produce large bruises on the jaw, below the ear, or down the neck. A break in this area may also cause blood or cerebral spinal fluid to leak from the affected ear or damage to aural nerves, resulting in hearing loss.
- Raccoon Eyes – A blow to the forehead or nose may cause raccoon eyes, or black and blue marks around and under the eyes. It is common for this fracture to coincide with cerebral spinal fluid leaking into the sinuses, interrupting the normal sense of smell and impairing eye functions.
If not treated quickly, open head injuries in Kentucky can cause severe brain damage, vision loss, hearing impairment, nerve damage, or even early death. You must give your loved one the time he needs to recover, be patient during the healing process, and seek the advice of a trusted Louisville head injury attorney to discover if he could be eligible for compensation for his injury. Call Gray and White today at 800.634.8767 or click the link on this page for a FREE, one-on-one consultation.