If you asked three people in Kentucky about the difference between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI), you would probably get three different answers. Are they the same thing? Is one a form of the other? Are they completely different? It’s time to clear up the confusion.

What Is an Acquired Brain Injury?

The Brain Injury Network (BIN) defines acquired brain injury as follows:

“An acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that has occurred after birth, but is not related to congenital defect or degenerative disease. Causes of ABI include (but are not limited to) hypoxia, illness, infection, stroke, substance abuse, toxic exposure, trauma, and tumor. ABI may cause temporary or permanent impairment in such areas as cognitive, emotional, metabolic, motor, perceptual motor and/or sensory brain function.”

What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?

TBIs are brain injuries caused by an external force, such as gunshot wounds, bumps to the head from falling or running into an object, and injuries suffered in motor vehicle accidents. Brain injury from birth trauma is not recognized by the medical community as a TBI, although many parents of infants who suffer brain injury as a result of a difficult birth object to the exclusion.

ABI Versus TBI

The Brain Injury Network recognizes that there is disagreement and inconsistency among medical and legal professionals, as well as the public. BIN has been advocating for a universally accepted, clear distinction between the terms. This is their clarification:

“The position of the Brain Injury Network is that acquired brain injury (ABI) includes traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), strokes, brain illness, and any other kind of brain injury acquired after birth. However, ABI does not include what are classified as degenerative brain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease.”

ABI may be also caused by nearly drowning, hypoxic or anoxic brain injury, tumors, neurotoxins, substance abuse, illness, infection, electric shock, or lightning strike. Basically, any injury to the brain after birth is an acquired brain injury.

Why Quibble About Definitions?

BIN maintains that a clear, accurate, and consistent definition among members of the medical and legal professions, government, and the public will enable survivors of brain injury to have their rights recognized and their goals met. Obtaining treatment and insurance benefits is easier when everyone involved is on the same page.

When someone else’s actions or negligence causes brain injury in you or someone you love, get a Kentucky brain injury lawyer. Call Gray and White Law in Louisville at 502-210-8942 or toll free at 888-450-4456 set up a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

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