TBI Brain Injury       Brain Trauma &
Brain Injury Information



Traumatic Brain Injury - A Hard Case To Deal With

Just what is Traumatic Brain Injury, TBI? Also referred to as Acquired Brain Injury (ABI), traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden event or trauma damages the brain in some way. It may be caused by an accidental blow to the head, or a whiplash injury in the case of a traffic accident.

The results of a traumatic brain injury may be a closed head injury, which means that the skull itself has not been pierced by any object, or the opposite, an open head injury meaning that the skull has in fact been penetrated by something, which then enters the brain tissue.

Even with a closed head injury, the damage to the brain can be substantial. During injury the brain may be shaken around inside the skull causing bruising and damage to the brain tissue. This means that in the case of any traumatic brain injury, medical advice should be sought so that brain damage can be assessed as early as possible, with treatment beginning as soon as possible.

Anyone with traumatic brain injury may lose consciousness whether it be for a few seconds, a few minutes, or in the case of a coma, days even weeks, or months. The injured may have a headache, or one may develop over the few days after the traumatic event. There may be confusion, dizziness, or vision disturbances. There could be ringing in the ears, fatigue, or a change in sleeping patterns. These are some of the many symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury.

In more severe cases, TBI may lead to severe headaches that get worse with time, and may be accompanied by vomiting or nausea. There may also be a loss of coordination, with weakness of the extremities. In fact there are many, many problems that can arise as a result of a traumatic brain injury.

As mentioned above, anyone with traumatic brain injury should seek medical attention as soon as possible, so that the patient can be stabilized. There is always a concern that the injured may not be receiving sufficient oxygen, something that the untrained have no idea about, and of course blood pressure will need monitoring too. If necessary x-rays of the neck and skull will be taken to check for fractures in the bones there, and it may be necessary for imaging of the brain to see the real extent of the damage.

Treatment for traumatic brain injury depends on the severity of degeneration of the brain cells. Medication may be needed, as may surgery (especially if there is a great deal of swelling in the brain, surgery may be needed to reduce the pressure), neuropsychological rehabilitation and possibly even deep brain stimulation. Neurosurgeons, neurologists and neuropsychologists are the experts in this field and it is these people who will create the programs necessary for each individual patient, helping to teach them skills they no longer have as a result of their brain injury, or helping them to relearn skills they have "forgotten" due to their injury.

Reports indicate that roughly half of patients with severe head injuries need surgery to remove ruptured blood vessels (haematomas) or damaged brain tissue (contusions). The disabilities resulting from traumatic brain injury can be overwhelming, simply because the brain controls so much of everyone's life. The senses may become impaired, communication may become difficult and in severe cases even impossible. Depression may occur, and there may be personality changes.

But one thing to remember, never give up hope. The human body can be very surprising, and the brain, although damaged irreparably in one area, may start to compensate for this in another. The best thing for any traumatic brain injured victim or family is to have hope. Encouragement can go a long way, and hope should always be present.

As you probably realize, traumatic brain injury research is going on all the time, so that we may learn to understand even more about our incredible brains. Along with the research comes new ways to treat the brain injured, so that their futures may be improved along with the therapies they use.