– Secondary Injury

Unfortunately, secondary injury damage can be caused following the initial injury due to a number of complications. These often include a disruption of the oxygen supply to the brain, which can occur at the time of the accident if the airways are blocked, e.g. by a chest injury or because of blood from the nose or face, or may also occur if there is excessive bleeding from other injuries which itself can reduce blood pressure. Later, blood clots may form as a result of small blood vessels being torn in the initial injury. These can press on the brain and cause further damage, though can sometimes be removed in surgery.

In addition, the brain may swell in the days following the accident and cause pressure (called intracranial pressure) as the brain is forced against an unyielding skull. This again can cut off the blood supply to the brain and cause further damage to its surface.

The complications described here will not occur with all brain injuries. Be assured that the paramedics at the scene of an accident and the medical teams monitor the individual very closely. They do all that they can to prevent these complications from happening, or at least to minimise the damage that might be caused should complications arise.