People in Hawaii who are involved in car accidents may come away from the event with a range of injuries - from light bruising to more serious harm such as paralyzation or brain injury. A blow to the head caused by a vehicular accident is known as a traumatic brain injury, and this can vary in severity.
According to the Mayfield clinic, a brain injury can occur in a specific part of the brain or it may involve the entire brain. Focal injuries are ones that affect certain areas of the brain and include hematomas and contusions. Diffuse injuries are those that involve the whole brain. These include:
- Diffuse axonal injury - occurs when the nerves' axons are damaged and torn, affecting the wakefulness of the victim
- Concussion - often causing a short loss of consciousness, this is typically a mild form of injury that is temporary
- Traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage - occurs when there is bleeding in the space surrounding the brain, and it has widespread effects
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, a brain injury can be mild, moderate or severe. Along with a brief loss of consciousness, the symptoms of a mild injury may include short term memory loss, vomiting, lethargy and dizziness.
With a moderate injury, the victim may be unconscious for up to 24 hours and have bleeding or bruising of the brain. Imaging tests typically show signs of neurological trauma and injury. With a severe injury, tests also show trauma signs and the victim is typically in a coma with no sleep/wake cycles. Rehabilitation and treatment options can vary greatly depending on the type and severity of brain injury.