Skull Fracture Accidents
Injuries involving a fractured skull can sometimes be devastating and life-altering. The term “skull fracture” refers to any break to the bone structure which surrounds the brain. They are relatively common in the aftermath of blunt trauma involving the head, such as that which can be experienced due to a fall or a vehicle collision.
Determining the severity of skull fractures depends hugely upon which part of the skull has been affected by the injury.
Diagnosing a Skull Fracture
There are three keys to diagnosing the seriousness of a skull fracture:
- The specific location of the injury on the skull;
- The direction of the fracture with respect to an imaginary axis running vertically from the top of the head to the bottom;
- Whether any bit of bone becomes pressed into the brain (this is called a “depressed fracture”)
Let’s take a quick look at each of these three:
If the break takes place anywhere along the back or at the bottom of the skull (near where the neck begins, also called the “base”), the victim will need to remain in the hospital for at least a day or two following the incident, as potentially very serious problems can emerge. Principal among these is a rip of the meninges, the tissue which covers the brain. If the meninges suffers a tear as a result of the fracture, the patient is at risk of leaking spinal fluid through both the nose (termed rhinorrhea) and through the ears (termed otorrhea). Blood may, furthermore, pool in the area just to the rear of the eardrum and/or in the sinuses, and bruises may begin to appear surrounding the eyes and ears. These latter symptoms are popularly known as “raccoon eyes” and “Battle sign”.
Top or Front Skull Damage
Damage to the skull may still prove serious even if it is located on the top or front of the head, instead of the particularly problematic back and base. If the fracture runs roughly in parallel with the vertical axis extending from the top of the skull to the bottom, then it is termed “longitudinal”. Upwards of seventy percent of all skull fractures fall into this category. While they carry their own set of possible lasting damages, they are generally not so worrisome as their counterpart- “transverse” fractures, those which run roughly perpendicular to the vertical axis mentioned. Approximately 40% of all transverse fractured skull patients experience some level of facial paralysis, in addition to a much-increased risk of hearing loss, vertigo, and balance troubles.
Depressed Fractures of the Skull
Finally, there are depressed fractured skull injuries, in which either some part of the bone presses directly upon the brain, some part of the brain is fully exposed to the environment, or both. Depressed skull fractures nearly always require an immediate surgical fix to prevent infection which can lead to lasting brain damage. Injuries of this nature can sometimes become quite complicated, depending on its location, direction, and depth.
Davis Fractured Skull and Personal Injury Attorney
I’m Ed Smith, a Davis personal injury attorney. If you or someone you love has suffered a fractured skull in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, please call me right away at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice.
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Source of Accidents Involving Skull Fractures – Edward A Smith Law Offices