Medical Terminology for Brain Injuries

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  • 0:00 Brain Injuries
  • 0:35 Concussion & Amnesia
  • 1:20 Cerebral Contusion &…
  • 2:15 Coup-Contrecoup Injury & SBS
  • 3:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson defines several different kinds of brain injuries: concussions, cerebral contusions, intracranial hematomas, coup-contrecoup, and shaken-baby syndrome.

Brain Injuries

Little Timmy decided to throw caution to the wind one day as he was skiing on a mountain. Never having performed any ski jumps whatsoever, he thought he was good enough to try one out, anyways. Down the hill he went and up the ski jump. The last thing he saw and remembered before getting several different brain injuries was the clear blue sky as he plummeted back towards Earth. Let's look over some of the brain injuries little Timmy sustained.

Concussion & Amnesia

Well, the most famous brain injury little Timmy endured was a concussion, a violent shock or jarring of the brain that is followed by a temporary or long-term loss of function. Concussions don't just happen because of ski accidents when the head hits the ground or a tree. They can happen when someone is in a car accident or gets hit in the head.

Concussion comes from 'concuss,' which means to shake violently and '-ion,' which implies a state or condition. Some concussions entail amnesia, the loss of memory stemming from a pathological event, such as a concussion or illness. This is why little Timmy doesn't remember much after seeing the blue sky as he twisted in the air after going off the ski jump.

Cerebral Contusion & Intracranial Hematoma

Too bad for Timmy, but his brain injuries didn't end there! The doctors told him he had a cerebral contusion and an intracranial hematoma. Timmy looked confused when they told him that, but I can't be sure if it's because of the concussion or because of the big words they used.

A cerebral contusion is nothing more than a fancy term for the bruising of brain tissue, often as a result of trauma. Contusion stems from 'contuse,' which means 'bruise,' and 'cerebro' is a combining form that refers to the brain. So, a cerebral contusion is a brain bruise.

An intracranial hematoma is a collection of blood trapped within the brain tissue or between the brain and the skull. 'Intra-' means 'within,' 'cranial' refers to the part of the skull enclosing the brain, and 'hematoma' is a word for a collection of blood caused by the rupture of a blood vessel.

Coup-Contrecoup Injury & SBS

Any injury to the head or directly to the brain, via penetration of the skull, that occurs as a result of physical trauma or an external force, one that damages the brain and causes brain dysfunction is known as a traumatic brain injury, and that's what poor little Timmy had.

The problem with traumatic brain injuries is that you get a double dose of problems when the force of the blow is violent enough. You see, when Timmy hit his head on the ground as he fell from 12 feet in the air, the brain slammed into the back of the brain as the back of the skull hit the ground.

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