Traumatic Brain Injuries
Every year, as many as two million people sustain head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries. Over half a million head injuries or traumatic brain injuries year require hospitalization. Injuries to the head are so common that almost everyone in their lifetime will sustain some form of trauma to the head. Learning to recognize serious head injury and implementing basic first aid can save someone’s life.
Traumatic brain injuries can result from the negligence of others, including:
– motor vehicle collisions,
– medical negligence,
– work and industrial injuries,
– recreational accidents, and
A traumatic brain injury or TBI, also referred to as head injury, head trauma, or concussion, is any trauma to the head that leads to injury of the scalp, skull or brain. Head injury can be classified as either closed or penetrating. In closed head injury, the head sustains a blunt force by striking against an object. In penetrating head injuries, a high velocity object breaks through the skull and enters the brain.
Some head injuries result in prolonged or non-reversible brain damage. This can occur as a result of bleeding inside the brain (intracranial hematoma), or high shearing forces that damage the nerve cells of the brain (diffuse axonal injury). It can even occur as a result of an infection to the brain caused by blunt trauma (subdural empyema).
Brain Injury Symptoms
The more serious head injuries cause deficits that vary with the degree of brain injury. These deficits may include:
– personality changes,
– hearing and / or vision loss,
– loss of taste and / or loss of smell, and
– cognitive or learning deficits.
– loss or altered level of consciousness,
– skull fracture,
– severe headache,
– blurred vision,
– pupil changes,
– stiff neck,
– slurred speech,
– fluid draining from nose, mouth or ears,
– increased drowsiness, and
– scalp wound.
Signs and symptoms of a head injury may occur immediately or develop slowly over several hours.
Diagnostic studies such as CT scans, MRI’s, Sand x-rays are helpful in determining the nature and extent of head or brain injury. Delay in recognizing the brain injury can be severely harmful or even fatal. A full neurological examination on a repeated basis might be necessary when a brain injury is suspected.
Serious traumatic brain injuries may result from seemingly minimal trauma. Mild traumatic brain injuries may result in serious deficits.