Understanding Coup Contrecoup Brain Injury

Head injuries are one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. What is disturbing is the fact that careless drivers causing automobile accidents and truck accidents are frequently responsible for causing such devastating injures and death. Other causes include falls, bicycle or motorcycle accidents and shaken baby syndrome.

In cases of automobile accidents the head may strike an object and then produce what is known as a coup contrecoup brain injury. This type of closed head injury is commonly referred to as Coup Contrecoup. A coup contrecoup brain injury describes how the brain moves or shifts inside the skull when head trauma occurs. Coup is the initial impact of the brain against the skull. Contrecoup is when the brain rebounds to the opposite side of the skull.

The brain injury results from the forces involved in acceleration and deceleration movements inside the skull. Shearing forces from the rapid acceleration and deceleration disrupt normal brain function due to the damage caused by trauma to the head.

A coup contrecoup brain injury may cause problems to arise in the portion of the brain opposite the location where the head initially impacts an object. This phenomenon occurs because after the head strikes an object the brain moves inside the skull to the complete opposite part of the skull. Injury then occurs to the part of the brain opposite to the side the head struck initially struck an object. This video on coup contrecoup brain injury is informative and displays visually what I have described below.

Symptoms of a head injury resulting from a coup contrecoup brain injury can include alteration of personality, lack of planning and reasoning, impairment of organization, seizures, language comprehension difficulties, or memory loss. People who experience coup countercoup injuries are often the victims of Traumatic brain injury and may need to be evaluated by trained medical doctors, psychologists and neuropsychologists who can assist in the diagnoses and treatment of any injury. Treatment and rehabilitation may be needed in an attempt to restore as much brain function possible.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of an accident or other incident resulting in a brain injury, and believe you have a potential claim, please contact our Orlando and Lakeland Personal Injury Attorneys and we will be happy to discuss your case.