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My sister was diagnosed with a brain injury. The hospital said there were two types of brain injuries. What are they?

Injuries to the brain are usually classified as open or closed. A closed head injury means the trauma occurred as a result of a blow to the head where the brain slams against the inside of the skull from side-to-side or front-to-back. These types of injuries are referred to as diffuse or focal. Diffuse means the injury affects tissues and cells all through the brain. Focal means the injury is in one area (a focal point).

Closed head trauma may range from mild to severe and may affect various locations in the brain, such as the parietal or occipital lobes.

An open head injury may also be referred to as a penetrating head trauma. This happens when an object pierces the skull and pushes into the brain. With injuries of this nature, they are generally classified as focal – a specific location in the brain.

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