Traumatic Brain Injury or Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury or brain injury is an injury to the brain that happens when a sudden bump, blow, jolt or other head injury occurs that causes damage to the brain. It may also occur when foreign objects such as bullets, sharp materials and stones penetrate the skull to cause traumatic brain damage. Many serious brain injuries results in temporary brain dysfunction, bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, physical damage and long-term complications or death.
Symptoms of traumatic brain injury:
Traumatic brain injury can cause physical and psychological damage. Some signs and symptoms may appear immediately right after the traumatic event while some may appear later.
Mild traumatic brain injury:
Here are some sign and symptoms of traumatic brain injury:
- Fatigue or weakness
- Problem with speech
- Loss of balance
- A person may experience blurred vision, ringing in ears, a bad taste in mouth or change in ability to smell
- A person may become sensitive to light or sound
Cognitive, behavioral or mental symptoms:
- Loss of consciousness
- Person may be disoriented or confused
- Memory loss or concentration problems
- Mood change or mood swings
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Sleeping more than usual
Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury:
Many of the sign and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury may appear in moderate or severe traumatic brain injuries while other symptoms that may accompany are as follows:
- Loss of consciousness for several minutes to hours
- Persistent and severe headaches
- Vomiting and nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of the pupil
- Discharge of fluid from the nose or ears
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Numbness and weakness in the distal parts of the limbs
- Loss of coordination
Cognitive or mental symptoms:
- Profound confusion
- Agitation combativeness or other usual behavior
- Slurred speech
- Coma and other disorders of consciousness
Various sign and symptoms that can be observed in a child with traumatic brain injuries are as follows:
- Change in eating or nursing habits
- Unusual or easy irritability
- Persistent crying
- Inability to be console
- Change in ability to pay attention
- Change in sleep habits
- Depressed mood
- Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
Causes of traumatic brain injuries:
The most common events that can cause brain traumatic injuries may include the following:
- Sudden falls from heights such as from stairs, ladders, in the baths and other falls may result in traumatic brain injury.
- High speed collisions involving cars, motorcycles, cycles and pedestrians involved in such accidents are a common cause of traumatic brain injury.
- Various other brain traumatic injuries may include gunshot wounds, domestic violence, child abuse and other assaults etc.
- In youths various high impact or extreme sports such as soccer, boxing, football, baseball, hockey etc. can also cause traumatic brain injury.
- Sometimes rotational or spinning jolts may also cause tearing of cellular structures.
- Explosive blasts and other combat injuries can also disrupt brain function leading to severe brain injuries.
Risk factors for traumatic brain injury:
Risk factors involved in traumatic brain injury in most of the people may include:
- Children especially newborns to four years old
- Young adults of age group 15 and 24.
- Adults age 60 and above
- Males in any group
Complications involved in traumatic brain injury:
There are several complications which can occur immediately or soon after traumatic brain injury. Some of them are as follows:
- Vegetative state
- Minimally conscious state
- Brain death
- Hydrocephalus( fluid retention in the brain)
- Nerve damage (paralysis)
- Blood vessel damage
- Loss of memory
- Degenerative brain disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia etc.
Diagnosis of traumatic brain injury:
Traumatic brain injuries may be medical emergencies. Doctors and health care personnel access the patient condition and severity of the injury by using Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS). Doctors at Yashoda Hospitals and Research Centre Nehru Nagar Ghaziabad may order various imaging tests like CT scan, MRI etc to diagnose the severity of the trauma.
Treatment and drugs for brain traumatic injury:
The mild traumatic brain injuries need no treatment as they can be successfully treated by taking proper rest and pain relievers. Severe traumatic brain injuries need immediate emergency care by providing oxygen, blood supply and maintaining proper blood pressure can help in preventing further injury to the neck or the head.
Surgeries may also be used in removing blood clots, in repairing skull fractures, to reduce pressure in the skull by making a small opening and to drain excessive cerebrospinal fluid. Various anti seizures drugs, coma inducing drugs, Diuretics etc. are used to treat brain injuries.
Prevention of traumatic brain injury:
Here are some tips which can be followed to reduce traumatic brain injuries:
- Always use seat belts, wear helmets etc. while riding vehicles.
- Avoid driving vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Avoid crossing streets, walking or driving while using mobile phones.
Dr. Atul Gupta is an expert doctor with an experience of 29 years in the field of neurosurgery. He specialises in performing surgeries like brain tumor, cerebrovascular, epilepsy and spine surgery.
Dr. Puneet Malik and Dr. Shishir Kumar are among the best neurosurgeons, each with 10 years of experience performing a significant number of complex brain and spinal cord surgeries. They specialize in procedures such as clot removal, tumor surgeries, and stopping brain bleeds, all executed with great precision and care.