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What is Diffuse Axonal Injury?

What is Diffuse Axonal Injury?

Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is a severe brain injury that can occur following a traumatic accident. The brain has separate areas of white matter and grey matter. In DAI, these regions are damaged. In severe cases, it could even leave people with permanent, irreparable neurological damage. Some of the most common mechanisms of DAI include:

Overall, DAI results when there are severe forces that shear the neurons inside the head. This includes injuries that lead to rapid changes in the direction of the head and neck area. As these forces act on the brain, the neurons are sheared and severe brain damage results. Because of the severity of this injury, it is essential for everyone to understand the signs, symptoms, and treatment of the diffuse axonal injury.

What Does Diffuse Axonal Injury Look Like?

A traumatic accident can lead to severe damage to the axons of the nerves. The axons are the parts of the nerves that carry signals from one part of the body to the other. When someone suffers diffuse axonal injury, the damage is often not immediately apparent. For days, weeks, or even months after the accident, the damage from diffuse axonal injury will start to appear. Some of the symptoms of DAI include:

  • Difficulty with vision and hearing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Altered mental status
  • Coma

If there is a concern for a traumatic brain injury, CT scans or MRIs might be ordered to get a closer look at the brain. On these imaging scans, diffuse axonal injury can be diagnosed. There is a blurring of the grey matter and the white matter of the brain which is diagnostic of DAI. Many people with DAI also have bleeds in their brain.

The Treatment of Diffuse Axonal Injury

Unfortunately, there are not many treatment options for someone who has been diagnosed with DAI. Most of the treatment focuses on making sure that the intracranial pressure is kept within safe limits. This will prevent further damage from accruing. Sadly, the damage that people suffer from diffuse axonal injury is typically permanent. In catastrophic cases of DAI, the individual can sometimes slip into a coma and never wake up.

Watch YouTube Video: Understanding Diffuse Axonal Injury. This animated video provides a closer look at how diffuse axonal injury can affect someone’s physical and cognitive abilities.

Contacting an Injury Lawyer

When an individual has been involved in an accident and suffered a severe traumatic brain injury, such as diffuse axonal injury, the entire family is affected. The stress of having a loved one undergo emergency surgery, followed by a stay in the intensive care unit, can be severe. Because of this, it is essential to ask for help from a personal injury lawyer in Sacramento. A trained attorney can assist by:

  • Helping families make tough decisions during a stressful time.
  • Reviewing records from the accident to make sure that nothing has been missed.
  • Shifting a case to the courtroom when necessary.

Finally, families need to know that they are not alone during this time. Meeting with a Sacramento personal injury lawyer can help families during the recovery process. You could be owed a financial award.

Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers

I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Diffuse axonal injury is a severe traumatic brain injury that could place someone in a persistent vegetative state. If your family member has sustained injuries in an accident, please give me a call at (800) 404-5400 or (916) 921-6400 for free, friendly legal advice.

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Photo Attribution: The image posted on this page was first located on Pixabay and has been shown here with permission.

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