TBI Brain Injury       Brain Trauma &
Brain Injury Information



Brain Trauma and Traumatic Brain Injury - understanding the effects and secondary effects

Brain trauma injury is unfortunately a major cause of death as well as disability worldwide, especially in children and young adults. The causes of brain injury are vehicle accidents, as well as falls, and violent attacks. There are steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of serious injury, for example the wearing of protective helmets when rollerblading or riding motor cycles, and using seatbelts when riding in vehicles, but education also plays its part. The public needs information about brain and head injuries and how they can be prevented, and children should be encouraged to get used to wearing protective headgear at an early age. It will then be easier for them to continue this practice as they get older.

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is also called intracranial injury, and occurs when some kind of outside force causes traumatic injury to the brain. The TBI classification depends on the severity of the brain trauma, whether it is a closed or open head injury, or whether injury covers a wider area than just the brain, for example affecting the rest of the face and head, not just the brain itself.

TBI usually refers to head injuries, but it covers a broader category because it can include injuries to the nose, ears, scalp and skull.

Direct impact can cause brain trauma, but so too can acceleration of the body, for example injuries caused by a fall. But it is not only the initial injury that is the problem, brain trauma injury can cause secondary injuries, symptoms that occur after the initial injury, such as pressure building in the skull which can cause more damage in addition to the original injury. Other secondary injuries such as a change in personality, the slurring of speech, sleep disturbances and more can occur days weeks, or even months after the original injury to the brain. It is important to inform your physician about any changes in the normal behaviour of a brain trauma patient.

The results of brain trauma injury can be varied, affecting physical well being, causing cognitive problems as well as emotional, and recovery is not always possible. In fact there are many cases of TBI that result in permanent disabilities, or death. During the last century, medical breakthroughs and scientific inventions have played a major part in enabling a decrease in death rates, and an improvement in treatment. Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI, can now provide better indications of what is happening in the brain, and helps to decide whether surgery is needed immediately, or whether medications alone will bring about improvement.

The recovery period for brain injury patients varies considerably, depending on the severity of the injuries, obviously, and each case is different in its needs. Some patients may require physical therapy to help them, while others need speech therapy. For people employed before their injury, occupational therapy may be needed to retrain them for a job more suited to their abilities after injury.

To conclude, brain trauma injury can cause a host of symptoms and health problems for the injured person, which in turn can cause enormous problems for the family of the patient too, as they learn to cope with the injuries and their results.