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The word catastrophic elicits images of suffering. A catastrophic event is often sudden, extraordinarily damaging and frequently permanent.

When it comes to a catastrophic injury, the definition remains the same. This type of personal injury is permanent physical damage that forces an individual’s life to change drastically. Some people who suffer catastrophic injuries die from them. Others need lifetime care and a change in lifestyle. Here are three examples of catastrophic injuries that require extensive medical treatment and a new way of life.

  1. Traumatic brain injury

The brain is the director of the body. It is responsible for every facet of the body. When a person gets hit in the head, it may result in permanent damage to other systems in the body. A traumatic brain injury often results from a work or car accident. In a car accident, a person may suffer severe head trauma resulting in brain damage. Someone with this type of injury may lose feeling in parts of the body, lose cognitive function or have a drastic personality change.

  1. Spinal cord injury

The spinal cord is an intricate complex of nerves that controls body movement. It is the pathway over which the brain transmits messages throughout the body. When a person’s spinal cord suffers damage, it often results in paralysis. The most serious is a complete loss of the use of the body from the neck down. As of yet, there is no cure for this type of catastrophic injury.

  1. Amputation

When blood cannot flow to a limb, the nerves and tissue begin to die. The damage may become so extensive that doctors must amputate the limb to keep the infected tissue at bay. Amputation of any portion of a limb may severely limit a person’s ability to complete everyday tasks at work and at home. Crush injuries on construction sites and in factories may result in limb loss.