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When someone suffers a serious blow to the head, they may incur one or two types of brain injuries: coup and contrecoup injuries. Although they sound similar, coup and contrecoup injuries are actually quite different, and knowing which type you’re suffering from can help your Edwardsville personal injury lawyer better determine what kind of treatment you need to recover fully. Learn more about coup and contrecoup brain injuries and how they occur here.
What are coup and contrecoup brain injuries?
Coup injuries are the result of a blow that causes the brain to be pushed forward into the front of the skull. Contrecoup injuries are the result of a blow that causes the brain to be pushed back against the rear of the skull. To avoid these types of injuries, you should wear a helmet when engaging in any activity which could lead to head injury. It’s also important not to drink alcohol before or during sporting events, as this increases your risk for such an injury.
How do they occur?
Brain injuries can be classified into four categories, depending on the location and severity of the injury. These include coup (the area of the brain opposite from where the injury occurred), contrecoup (the area of the brain that was closest to where the injury occurred), epidural hematoma (bleeding around or in between brain layers), subdural hematoma (bleeding in a space between two brain layers).
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of coup and contrecoup brain injuries are often difficult to tell apart because both can cause problems with thinking, feeling, speaking, moving, or remembering. The most common symptom is a headache. Coup injuries cause pain on the opposite side of the brain from where they occurred; contrecoup injuries cause pain on the same side. Another symptom is loss of consciousness after an accident.
How are they treated?
There are a few steps you can take to help treat coup and contrecoup brain injuries. First, if the person is unconscious, place them on their side in order to drain fluids that may have accumulated in the head. Second, avoid placing anything under their head or neck as this may worsen the injury.
In conclusion, coup injuries occur when the brain is struck by an external force from behind. They are typically more severe than contrecoup injuries. Contrecoup injuries are less common because the head has a natural tendency to rotate away from an incoming impact. It is best for someone without medical experience to take care of themselves first when it comes to these types of brain injuries.