Head injuries are increasingly in the news these days, especially in the world of sports, where the public is just now learning about the long-term danger of concussions. But that is only one type of head trauma and only one situation where people suffer brain injuries

Brain stem injuries are another type of head injury that is discussed less often but is potentially even more devastating.

What Is a Brain Stem Injury?

The brain stem is a cluster of nerves that connect the brain to the spinal cord. 

These nerves serve critical functions like:

  • Regulating balance
  • Controlling swallowing and breathing
  • Allowing people to feel sensation in their face
  • Regulating blood pressure and heart rhythms
  • Controlling hearing

When the nerves are compressed, severed, or otherwise damaged, the brain stem malfunctions. This can result in decreased function or even no functionality. If the brain stem ceases to regulate breathing or blood pressure, it is life-threatening.

Unfortunately, like most other nerve damage, brain stem damage is often permanent. There is a possibility of recovery when damage is light. However, any serious damage usually results in permanent disability.

Brain Stem Injury Symptoms

Any damage to the brain stem will result in a brain injury. 

The most common symptoms of brain stem injury are:

  • Impaired balance
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Loss of senses
  • Seizure-like symptoms
  • Paralysis or coma

These are serious injuries that usually have lifelong consequences. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms after a head injury, you should contact a doctor immediately.

Common Causes of Brain Stem Injuries

Any situation where you can suffer a head injury is a situation where you can suffer a brain stem injury. You could potentially fall out of bed one night and suffer a brain stem injury. But that is relatively unlikely. The following are some more likely incidents leading to brain stem injuries.

Recreational Activities (Especially Full Contact Sports)

There is a reason that professional athletes are increasingly being diagnosed with brain injuries. Any high-speed sport puts the player at risk of a head injury. For example, when two soccer players try to head a ball at once, there is a good chance they will suffer head injuries.

The best way to prevent injuries from recreational activities is to wear appropriate protective gear. This may mean wearing a helmet while riding a bike or wearing shoes with a good grip when boating.

Car Accidents

In most car accidents, your head whips forward and back very quickly, resulting in your brain slamming into your skull. This is one of the most common causes of brain stem injuries. The best way to avoid this danger is to always wear a seat belt when riding in a car. This limits how much your head is thrown forward in any type of sudden stop.

Slip and Fall Accidents

Any time you slip and fall, there is a risk that your head will strike something. And even if it doesn’t hit something, the rapid descent followed by a sudden stop can have a similar effect to whiplash. These types of accidents can happen anywhere, and the best defense is to always be cognizant of your surroundings.

Brain Stem Injuries Are Scary But Avoidable

Any damage to the brain stem can result in permanent disability, especially if you don’t visit a doctor as soon as possible. To avoid this danger, take appropriate care in situations where you are most in danger of suffering a brain injury.

Contact the Louisiana Personal Injury Law Firm Of Kenny Habetz Injury Law for Help Today

If you’ve been injured in Louisiana, please call Kenny Habetz Injury Law for a free case evaluation with a Louisiana personal injury lawyer or contact us online. We have offices in Lafayette and Crowley, LA.

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Lafayette
110 E Kaliste Saloom Rd Ste 101 Lafayette, LA 70508
(337) 399-9000

Kenny Habetz Injury Law – Crowley
604 S Parkerson Ave. Crowley, LA 70526
(337) 329-8883