If you or someone you love has suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident, you may have heard a lot of unfamiliar terms, including something that sounds like “coo”, “contra coo”, or “coo contra coo”. Or maybe you saw it on paper written as coup, contrecoup, and coup-contrecoup. You are probably wondering what on earth it means and if it is serious. These terms do not describe the level of severity or expected outcome, nor do they refer to the region of the brain that was injured. All three are contusions of the brain and the different names indicate different locations in relation to where the head was struck.
Coup injuries occur at the site of impact. If fall and you hit your head the coup injury would be a bruise on your brain directly under the skull in the spot where your head struck the ground or an object.
Contrecoup is a contusion on the opposite side of the brain from the impact site. If you hit your head on the steering wheel, in a car accident, your brain can bounce back and strike the inside of the back of your skull, causing a bruise.
As you may have guessed, coup-contrecoup means both the coup and contrecoup injuries are present.
A bruise may not sound serious, but when it’s your brain it can be. There can be extensive bleeding, hematoma which is pooling of the blood, and swelling. Contrecoup injuries, whether alone or in coup-contrecoup, often go unnoticed causing a delay in treatment which allows the harm to the brain to progress.
To learn more about brain injuries and your legal rights in Atlanta or Sandy Springs, Georgia, please call Robbins Law, PC at 800-772-5555 or contact us online right away.