There are a few different ways to categorize traumatic brain injuries. They can be grouped based on whether the injury is open or closed, whether the injury is located in a small, specific area, known as a focal injury, or occurring over a large area, called a diffuse injury. A third way to classify the brain injury is based on how severe the injury is.
A closed injury can occur when the head hits or is hit by an object, but the object does not break through the skull or protective covering of the brain. An open, or penetrating injury, occurs when an object does break through the skull and the brain’s protective coverings.
How severe a TBI is, is based on the following three things:
The Glasgow Coma Scale scores a person’s eye opening abilities, verbal responses and motor responses.
A brain injury is classified as mild TBI, or concussion, when the patient experiences:
A brain injury is classified as Moderate TBI when the patient has:
Patients with moderate TBI usually make a good recovery with treatment or learn to manage any problems that result from the injury.
A brain injury is classified as Severe TBI when the patient has:
Severe TBI is often caused by crushing blows or penetrating wounds to the head. These injuries can severely damage the brain. In many cases, it’s not possible to recover completely from a severe TBI.