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What is an open head injury?

An open head injury is one when an object penetrates the skull and pierces the brain tissue. It is also called a penetrating head injury. This can happen a number of ways, but the most common way to sustain an open head injury is as a result of having a skull fracture or it was the result of being hit by flying debris or glass in a car accident.

An open head injury needs to be treated immediately as it may result in brain swelling or bleeding or a serious infection. It is important to get a prompt medical workup if you believe you suffered a head injury.

Other types of head injuries exist like, closed head, coup-contrecoup brain injuries, concussions and diffuse axonal injuries. A closed head injury will have no visible blood or penetration of the skull. Coup-contrecoup brain injuries are the result of brain bruising caused when the momentum of a crash causes the brain to move inside the skull. A concussion is typically the result of being hit in the head. Diffuse axonal injury is result of the brain rapidly shifting inside the skull due to trauma that caused the axons/fibers to be sheared.

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