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What are open head injuries?

Opening a carton of eggs to see if one is broken is a habit many people have. If you see a crack in the shell or notice some of the egg whites oozing out, you likely don't buy that carton. That cracked egg is similar to what happens when a person suffers an open head injury, except blood may be oozing out instead of egg whites.

What is an open head injury?

An open head injury occurs when something punctures the skull. This type of injury can occur in car accidents, stabbings, shootings, sports accidents and a host of other accidents. If the skull is fractured or pierced, the injury is considered an open head injury.

What are the symptoms of an open head injury?

You might not have many symptoms of an open head injury right away because there aren't any nerve receptors in the brain. If you aren't in pain, the first symptom you notice of an open head injury might be the blood.

Is an open head injury worse than a closed head injury?

There isn't any really clear answer to which is worse. In an open head injury, skull fragments can damage the brain and there is a chance of infection or contamination. Unlike in a closed head injury, an open head injury leaves more room for the brain to swell so further damage to the brain might be bypassed.

What is the treatment for an open head injury?

In most cases, a person with an open head injury will be prescribed antibiotics because of the risk of meningitis. Medications to stop brain swelling might be given. In addition, diagnostic tests like CT scans and MRIs are usually done to gauge the damage to the brain. Surgery might be necessary to correct the fracture or remove skull fragments. All of the diagnostic testing and treatment options can put a dent in a person's finances, so some people might opt to seek compensation to help cover those costs.

Source: BrainInjuryInstitute.org, "Open Head Injury," accessed April. 05, 2015

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