When a person is struck in the head with a great deal of force, the result can be a fracture in the skull. Unlike other fractures, a break in the layer of bone surrounding the brain can result in immediately drastic results that may permanently disable or kill the injured person. However, these injuries are largely avoidable or preventable if the proper safety standards are observed and workers are not expected to complete dangerous tasks with limited safety equipment. When classifying fractures concerning the skull, there are three primary forms, with two less likely types of breaks that are relatively uncommon.
Linear fractures occur when trauma happens across a wide area of the head. These breaks rarely are concerned causes for major concern, as they do not displace bone or allow major damage to be done to the brain. However, depending on the location of the trauma, a fracture may displace stress further into the skull, causing injury the meninges. Perhaps the most serious complication associated with a linear fracture is an epidural hematoma, which can potentially be fatal.
Depressed skull fractures are considerably more dangerous to injured individuals. Unlike linear fractures, these injuries usually occur as direct injuries to the skull, which might include a small object striking the head or an individual falling on the edge or point of something. Depressed fractures may place pressure on the brain or the meninges, leading to seriously life-threatening injuries. Treatment may require surgery in order to alleviate pressure on the brain.
A diastatic skull fracture can occur when the break happens along the suture lines of the skull. Although these injuries are less common among adults, who have long-since had their suture lines fused together by natural bone growth, they can still cause serious injuries, including a reopening of these original suture lines.
For more information regarding workers’ rights in the event of an injury, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.