Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury is the brain dysfunction caused by a sudden and external violent force. The consequences of a traumatic brain injury is unpredictable. It can be mild to severe injury depending on the force of the impact. Road traffic accidents are the most common cause of brain injuries. In very severe cases, the injured person might fall into coma or complete loss of consciousness and sometimes TBIs can also be deadly.
- Road traffic accidents
- Falls from a height (stairs, ladder, terrace)
- Gunshots and other forms of violence
- Explosions, mostly seen in military persons
- Blow to head with sharp objects
- Injuries during sports
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury vary from mild to very severe depending on the impact. Some of the injuries may not have any external injuries.
- Loss of consciousness
- Severe headache and nausea
- Fluid drain from nose and ears
- Mental confusions
- Speech related difficulties
- Behavioral abnormalities
- Difficulty in concentration and understanding
- Dilated eyes and/or asymmetrical pupils
- Problems with vision, hearing and other senses
- Muscles stiffness, movement and coordination difficulties.
Diagnosis of brain injuries should be done very quickly as the condition can get worsened without rapid treatment.
- Detailed review of the incident
- Physical examination
- Neurological examination
- A rating scale to assess the immediate severity of the injury
- Imaging procedures including CT and MRI
- Intracranial pressure monitor
The only way to prevent traumatic brain injury is to be careful and avoid any form of falls or accidents.
Treatment for brain injuries vary depending on the severity of the condition. Very mild injuries may require only painkillers and a few hours of observation. Certain cases require immediate emergency care. In very severe conditions, the major objective of treatment would be life sustenance.
- Medications including painkillers, anti-seizure drugs and other medicines may be prescribed by the doctor depending on the injuries and its impact.
- Surgery is the emergency treatment done in most of the traumatic brain injury conditions to repair fractures in skulls, control bleeding, remove clots and other immediate problems.
- Rehabilitation after surgery and medications is an important part to improve the person’s abilities in performing daily tasks and to finally lead a normal life. Some of the rehabilitative treatments include physiotherapist, occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioural therapy and counselling.
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