Brain Awareness Week starts this week on Monday 10 March 2014.
So..What is the brain?
In a nutshell (or rather the skull) the brain is a soft, jelly-like organ that is the centre of the human nervous system. It is delicate, fragile and responsible for who and what were are, both physically and emotionally.
From a purely ‘physical’ point of view the brain is responsible for all the body’s functions. It weighs approximately 3lbs, just under 1.5kg, and floats within the skull in a protective sea of cerebrospinal fluid. The fluid feeds the brain and acts as a sort of shock absorber.
Not only is the brain protected by the cerebrospinal fluid but also by three layers of membrane, known as the dura, pia and arachnoid, that lie between the brain and skull.
The space between the pia and arachnoid membranes is known as the subarachnoid space. The subarachnoid space contains blood vessels that supply and drain the brain.
To function the brain has to have a regular blood supply from the heart, the brain is criss-crossed by a network of large arteries that divide into smaller branches.
The brain is made up of different sections, lobes, and each one is responsible for a different function of the body. The lobes are;
• Frontal Lobe
• Temporal Lobe
• Occipital Lobe
• Parietal Lobe
What is a head injury?
A head injury is any trauma that injures the scalp, skull or brain.
The injury may be only a minor bump on the skull or a serious brain injury.
These type’s of head injuries are known as acquired brain injuries (ABI’s) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI’s), these terms are often used interchangeably, and refer to head injuries sustained after birth.
The most common causes of a head injury are falls, accidents at home, work, playing sports, assaults and road traffic collisions.
There are of course other non trauma related conditions such as dementia, stroke, MS which all affect the brain in different ways but as with a head injury can cause severe disability and disruption to life.
Approximately 700,000 people attend A&E each year in England and Wales after sustaining a head injury.
Symptoms of a head/brain injury & what to look out for
• Loss of consciousness
• Loss of balance/problems walking
• Severe headache not relieved by painkillers
• Problems speaking/understanding
• Inability to be woken
• Fits/collapse/passing out
• Weakness in one/both arms/legs
• Blurred/double vision
• Bleeding from one/both ears
• Deafness in one/both ears
• Clear fluid leaking from ears/nose
What are the effects of suffering a head/brain injury?
Those who have suffered a head/brain injury, whether it is severe, moderate or mild, may experience different effects, to include the following;
• Physical, such as difficulty moving, keeping balance, loss of co-ordination as well as headaches or increased tiredness
• Hormonal, if the pituitary glad is damaged it may lead to the low production of hormones
• Sensory, such as loss of taste or smell, blind spots in vision may occur and it may become difficult to control body temperature
• Cognitive, may affect the ability to think, process information, solve problems. Memory problems, speech and communication skills may also be effected
• Emotional/Behavioural, changes in feelings and behaviour may occur, such as feelings of irritation and anger. May be less sensitive to other people’s feelings, or lose inhibitions and behave in ways that others may deem inappropriate
If you or someone you know has suffered a brain or head injury as the result of an accident, either at work, as a pedestrian or in a road traffic accident, or as the result of a violent crime then contact us today.
Call us on 0800 614 722 or 0800 988 1548 and ask to speak to a member of our Serious and Catastrophic Injury team or email Dianne Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org
Birchall Blackburn Law, always there for brain awareness.