Injury Glossary

Bodily Injury A cut, abrasion, bruise, burn, or disfigurement; physical pain, illness, impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; or any other injury to the body, no matter how temporary.

A bruise, burn, cut, abrasion, or disfigurement; physical illness, pain, impairment of the function of an organ, bodily member, or mental faculty; any other temporarily injury to the body.
Burn First degree burns: Minor burns of the first layer of skin.

Second degree burns: Superficial partial-thickness burns injuring the first and second layer of skin.

Third degree burns: Serious burns injuring all the skin layers and tissue under the skin.
Concussion Injury resulting from a sudden or violent shock to the head. May cause temporary loss of consciousness.

Injury cause by a sudden or violent shock to the head. May cause temporary loss of consciousness.
Contusion Bruising and swelling of the brain.

Bruise or swell to the brain.
Hematoma Blood clot that collects in or around the brain.

Blood forming or clot that collects in or around the brain.
Quadriplegia Complete paralysis of the body from the neck down, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.

Paralysis of the body from the neck down including all four limbs, both arms and legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.
Soft Tissue Injury Injury to the ligaments, tendons and fibers of the body that connect the skeletal bones.

Injury to the fibers and tissues of the body including ligaments; band of tissues that hold bones together, tendon; cord of tissues attaching muscle to bones.
Spinal Cord Injury Injury of the nerves contained within the spinal canal often associated with trauma to the spinal column (spine), Complete: Nerve damage obstructing all signals between the brain and body. Incomplete: Nerve damage obstructing some of the signals between the brain and body.

Damage of the spinal cord; nerves contained within the spinal canal, often associated with trauma to the spinal column (spine),

Complete: Nerve damage hindering all signals between the brain and body.

Incomplete: Nerve damage hindering some of the signals between the brain and body.
Traumatic Brain Injury Serious injury to the head often resulting in severe and permanent damage to the brain. A skull may break or fracture when the force applied against it is greater than the strength of the bone itself. The severity of the fracture depends on several factors including the victim's overall health, age, and type of impact.

1. Tearing - The sudden impact of the body colliding with another object (such as a car or baseball bat) may cause very delicate tissue in the brain to tear apart. Unfortunately, modern medical devices (x-ray, CT scan, MRI) often do not detect torn brain tissue. As a result, the injured patient may be given a clean bill of health when in fact there has been significant brain damage.

2. Bruising - Bruising, like tearing, is caused by impact to the skull. The impact forces the soft tissue of the brain into the much harder skull. The collision between the tissue and the skull may rupture small blood vessels allowing blood to escape into areas of the brain unsuitable for such blood. The unconfined blood places additional pressure on the brain tissue. This pressure may cause parts of the brain to stop functioning. As the brain is responsible for operating the most basic bodily functions (such as breathing), it can be quite perilous for any part of the brain to shut down.

3. Swelling - While swelling in most other body parts is not typically considered life threatening, swelling of the brain can be. When swelling occurs in other parts of the body, the tissue surrounding the injured area expands to relieve the pressure. The brain however is surrounded by the hard bone of the skull and therefore cannot expand to accommodate the swelling occurring inside. When the brain swells, the pressure inside the skull increases along with the likelihood of severe consequences as a result thereof.

Anoxic Brain Injuries
Anoxic brain injury occurs when the brain is deprived its oxygen intake for some significant amount of time. Such deprivation may occur as a result of drowning, choking, strangulation, or other respiratory difficulties. The cells within the brain require oxygen (an therefore blood) to function. Lack of oxygen for a significant period causes the brain cells to die.

Subcategories:
Alzheimer's Disease Balance Problems Cerebral Coma and vegetative state,
words used interchangeably by laypeople, are distinguishable conditions. The patient in a comatose state cannot react to the outside world.

The classic coma typically lasts less than one month, after which the patient either dies, regains consciousness, or hovers somewhere in between a full coma and complete consciousness.
This "in between" condition is commonly called the vegetative state; the patient is semi-conscious but generally unaware of his surroundings.

Typically, the more severe the brain injury is, the longer the period of impaired consciousness. Scars may occur when the dermis, the layer of skin immediately below the outer layer, suffers tissue damage. Such tissue damage may be caused by burns and other wounds. If your vertebrae are compromised (broken or fractured) and fail to adequately protect the spinal cord you may suffer from a spinal cord injury.

For instance, in an automobile accident your spinal cord may be compressed or even severed, resulting in varying degrees of incapacitation. The location of the injury along the spinal cord usually dictates the severity of your disability. The spinal column consists of four sections, the Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, and Sacral, which run from top to bottom respectively. Generally, the higher the injury is located along the spinal cord, the more severe the consequences.

For example, damage to the spinal cord in either the Cervical or Thoracic regions usually results in some form of paralysis, while damage to the spinal cord in the lower portions of the Lumbar or Sacral regions may cause numbness and / or loss of bowel / bladder control.
Paraplegia Complete paralysis of the lower half of the body including both legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.

Paralysis of the lower trunk including both legs, usually caused by damage to the spinal cord.
Paralysis Paralysis is the inability to control the muscles that move the body. There are several levels of severity associated with paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia. The paraplegic has lost the partial or complete ability to move the legs while the quadriplegic is partially or completely unable to move both the legs and arms.

Axiomatic brain injury (stroke) and spinal cord injury are the major causes of paralysis. The extent of the paralysis depends on the severity of the stroke or the location of the spinal cord injury.

Paralysis can be permanent or temporary. Although scientists are making progress, the prognosis for reversing long-term paralysis is currently bleak.

Incapability to control the muscles that move the body. There are several levels of severity associated with paralysis, including paraplegia and quadriplegia.

Axiomatic brain injury (stroke) and Spinal cord injury are the major causes of paralysis. The extent of the paralysis depends on the severity of the stroke or the location of the spinal cord injury.

Paralysis can be temporary or permanent. Although scientists are making progress, the prognosis for reversing long-term paralysis is currently dismal.
Whiplash Whiplash, also called cervical acceleration / deceleration trauma, is caused by a sudden and violent movement of the neck. Such movement can cause damage to vertebrae and cervical tissue found in the neck.

Whiplash is typically categorized as a soft tissue injury as the muscles and ligaments of the neck are strained and swell, often resulting in pain and stiffness in the neck, headache, nausea, numbness and loss of balance. It can take up to 24 to 36 hours after an accident for these symptoms to manifest themselves.

Also called cervical acceleration / deceleration trauma, is caused by an abrupt and violent movement of the neck which can cause damage to vertebrae and cervical tissue found in the neck.

Whiplash is usually categorized as a soft tissue injury as the muscles and ligaments of the neck are strained and swell, often cause pain and stiffness in the neck, headache, nausea, numbness and loss of balance. It is common that the whiplash symptoms can take up to 24 to 36 hours after an accident to manifest themselves.

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