Head Injury from a Maritime Accident

A head injury is defined as trauma that leads to a scalp, skull or brain injury. It is also commonly referred to as brain injury, contusion or head trauma. These types of injuries range in severity from a minor bump on the skull to serious brain damage. Seamen are especially susceptible to this type of maritime injury.

There are two classifications of head injury – closed and open. An open head injury, also known as a penetrating head injury, occurs when someone is hit by an object that breaks the skull and enters the brain. A penetrating head injury often occurs when a person is moving at high speed, such as in a car accident, or from a gunshot. Closed head injuries happen when there is a hard blow to the head from an object, but the skull is not broken. However, a closed head injury can still result in serious complications.

Some of the types of brain injury include concussion, traumatic brain injury and contusion, which is a bruise on the brain.

It has been estimated that millions of people suffer head injuries every year. The majority of these head injuries are not serious, because the skull provides the necessary protection for the brain. Yet, more than 500,000 head injuries are severe enough to require hospitalization.

Car accidents, falls, assaults and work-related accidents are all common causes of head injury. A head injury can also be caused by a maritime accident. In some instances, the head injury will lead to irreversible brain damage, which results from bleeding inside the brain or brain damage. A serious head injury can cause coma, chronic headaches, paralysis, seizures, loss of sensation and speech difficulties.

Understanding some of the signs of a head injury and giving first aid can help save that person’s life. Medical attention should be sought immediately if a maritime worker becomes unusually drowsy, behaves differently, experiences a severe headache or stiff neck, becomes unconscious or starts vomiting.