How the Knife Entered the Skull of the NYPD Officer

NYPD officer knife stab wound brain injury
An NYPD officer escaped major injury—and death—as the knife bypassed many of the important nerves of his brain. Click Image to Enlarge.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), also called acquired brain injury or head injury, occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain that results in a change in mental status, the duration of which depends on the severity of the injury.

Mount Sinai neurosurgeons are trained and equipped to treat a wide range of traumatic brain injury. Our cerebrovascular surgery program is a collaborative effort with colleagues in endovascular neurosurgery, interventional neuroradiology, diagnostic neuroradiology, vascular neurology, neurological critical care, stereotactic radiosurgery, and neurological rehabilitation.

TBI Causes

  • Impact to the head
  • Falls
  • Collisions involving cars, motorcycles and bicycles
  • Assaults – gunshot wounds, child abuse
  • Entry of an object into the skull that enters brain tissue (e.g. bullet, piece of bone)
  • Forceful motion of the head


If the head injury is mild or moderate, and the patient has other life threatening injuries, the head injury may be missed while other injuries are being treated. Only when the patient resumes normal activities and begins to have problems with social situations or easy tasks, does one suspect TBI.

Diagnosis would then include:

  • A detailed neurological examination which may include a standardized exam called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This 15-point test helps assess the severity of a brain injury by checking your ability to follow directions, to blink your eyes or to move extremities. The coherence of your speech also provides important clues. Your abilities are scored numerically. Higher scores mean milder injuries.
  • Brain imaging with CAT scan or MRI
  • Cognitive evaluation by a neuropsychologist with formal neuropsychological testing
  • Evaluations by physical, occupational therapist?

Learn more about our treatment options.

NYPD Officer Stabbed In Head Reunites With Family At Home

Just weeks after being stabbed in the head, a city police officer is headed home from the hospital. Click on the image to watch video.