Coup and contrecoup injuries are contusions of the brain at the point of impact and on the opposite side of the brain where the brain subsequently slams into the inside of the skull, respectively. When injuries are present at both locations, it is referred to as coup-contrecoup. Coup-contrecoup injuries are common in car accident victims who suffer whiplash and may be overlooked or misdiagnosed in the emergency room.
Coup-Contrecoup and Whiplash
Brain injuries are often overlooked in whiplash victims, because doctors are focusing on their neck injuries. Whether there is a noticeable blow to the head or not, the acceleration/deceleration forces cause the brain to slam into the inside of the skull at the front and the back of the skull causing coup-contrecoup injuries.
The coup-contrecoup injuries are focal injuries and can involve bleeding in the brain, pooling of blood and brain swelling. When left untreated this can cause continuing damage to the brain. Injuries that would have caused minimal damage or impairment if treated right away can cause permanent impairment or become fatal if treatment is delayed.
In addition to focal injuries, whiplash can cause diffuse axonal injury which is spread throughout the brain. In diffuse axonal injury the white matter in the connecting nerve tissues in the brain are torn or sheared by the movement of the brain inside the skull.
If you or someone you love has suffered brain injury in a Shreveport car accident, please, call the Law Offices of J. Ransdell Keene at 800-597-9247 or contact us online right away to learn more about how we can help.