Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Understanding Focal vs. Diffuse Brain Injuries

By Steve Charpentier on October 09, 2019

Illustration of a brainA traumatic brain injury damages the tissues or overall structure of the brain. While traumatic brain injuries vary in severity, they have the potential to cause catastrophic and permanent damage. A brain injury can compromise a person’s physical and cognitive functions, as well as alter their mood and personality.

When classifying a brain injury, medical professionals may use the terms focal or diffuse. The attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm have represented many brain injury victims, and have a thorough understanding of these conditions. We can help our Melbourne, FL, clients understand the key differences regarding focal vs. diffuse brain injuries.

Classifying a Focal Brain Injury

A focal brain injury is one that is localized to one specific area of the brain. A focal brain injury can be an open or closed injury. An open focal brain injury describes one in which the skull is penetrated and an object enters the brain tissues. A closed focal brain injury does not penetrate the skull or brain, but the force of an impact causes the skull to press into brain tissues.

There are several different accidents or circumstances that can lead to a focal brain injury. In most cases, focal brain injuries are caused by direct impact, which is why one area of the brain is affected. Some of the most common causes of focal brain injuries include:

  • A fall
  • A blow to the head
  • Assault
  • Gunshot wound

Classifying a Diffuse Brain Injury

A diffuse brain injury is different from a focal brain injury in that it affects multiple areas of the brain. Whereas a focal brain injury is usually the result of direct impact, a diffuse brain injury occurs when the brain quickly moves in a back and forth motion within the skull. This movement can tear fibers and tissues within the brain, which can damage its overall structure.

As with a focal brain injury, there are many potential causes of a diffuse brain injury. Some of the most common causes of a diffuse brain injury are:

  • Car accidents
  • Slips or falls
  • Sports injury
  • Assault
  • Child abuse (specifically shaken baby syndrome)

Effects of Focal and Diffuse Brain Injuries

The effects of focal and diffuse brain injuries vary based on the severity of injuries. In serious cases, diffuse brain injuries can result in a loss of consciousness or a coma. Both focal and diffuse injuries can alter a person’s physical, cognitive, and emotional functions. Focal brain injuries will only impact functions associated with the area of the brain that was injured, while diffuse brain injuries can result in a wide range of symptoms.

Potential consequences of a focal or diffuse brain injury for our Melbourne clients include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • General confusion
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Mood swings

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury that was caused by the reckless or negligent actions of another person or party, you have the right to seek financial compensation for your injuries. The personal injury attorneys at our Melbourne legal practice, Charpentier Law Firm, are prepared to work on your behalf. To learn more about your legal options, send us a message at your earliest convenience or call (321) 308-8020.

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