Coup Brain Injuries
A coup brain injury occurs directly under the site of impact on the head. On the other hand, a contrecoup brain injury occurs on the side opposite from where the impact occurred. If both injuries happen after an impact on the head, the injury is called coup-contrecoup brain injury. The coup-contrecoup brain injury is the most serious because it can lead to permanent brain damage. What most brain injuries have in common is that they are often caused by an external or outside force that comes into contact with a person’s head. All these are non-penetrating injuries caused mostly by a fall, blunt force, sport injury, or force from auto accidents.
Risks Of These Brain Injuries
These brain injuries can be pinpointed with the help of the surface bruises, cuts, contusions and other marks. All these injuries can be serious. In fact, a coup brain injury can seem mild but it can also lead to bruising, swelling and hemorrhaging of the brain. For example, contrecoups happen mostly in motor vehicle accidents where the brain strikes the side of the skull opposite from the point of impact. However, some of the main consequences of these brain injuries are because of misdiagnosis.
Misdiagnosis of coup-contrecoups happens because the injury occurs both on the site of the trauma and the opposite side of the impact. The most common types of coup-contrecoup injuries are behind the forehead in the frontal lobe and underneath the temples in the temporal lobe. People who suffer this type of injury can experience problems with decision making, language comprehension and speaking. Generally brain injuries can cause:
- Memory problems
- Trouble swallowing
- Muscle weakness
- Impaired concentration
- Loss of balance and coordination and more
The skull exists to protect the soft tissue that makes up the human brain. It can protect the brain from moments when some strikes another person’s head or slams their head forward in a car accident. However, when the blow to the head is strong enough, it can force the brain to move forward into the skull. When the brain hits the surface of the skull it can cause bruising, damage to blood vessels and injury to the nerves. This is what doctors describe as a concussion. Concussions do not cause pain and usually not considered life threatening. But they can present symptoms such as nausea, unconsciousness, loss of vision, and loss of balance. Contrecoup and coup contrecoup injuries are related to concussions because they involve movement of brain tissue and a bruised or damaged brain.
How Coup, Contrecoup, And Coup Contrecoup Injuries Are Treated
If you sustain any of these injuries, doctors are likely to recommend rest or medications to reduce the symptoms. However, in some situations where there is brain bleeding or swelling, surgeons may have to perform neurosurgery to save the patient’s life. Since in most cases these injuries are irreversible, it more effective to prevent them from happening. If they happen to you, you should see a doctor immediately for treatment. The longer you wait the worse the brain injury could get.