TBIs: effects, stats, and treatments

By: Mila Hart and Liv Miller

TBI stands for traumatic brain injury. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons defines a traumatic brain injury as “A disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue”. 

The four main types of TBIs include: concussions, contusions, penetrating injuries, and anoxic brain injuries.

  • Concussions are mild traumatic brain injuries and are caused by a blow to the head.
  • Contusions are slightly more severe then concussions. Contusions are a bruise to the brain that causes bleeding and swelling inside of the brain.
  • A penetrating brain injury is when an object penetrates the skull and hurts the brain.
  • Anoxic brain injuries are the most severe TBIs. They are caused by a complete lack of oxygen to the brain. Anoxic brain injuries are often fatal.

To learn more about the four main types of TBIs visit Dolmanlaw.com.

The symptoms that follow a traumatic brain injury can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the injury. There are a wide variety of effects and symptoms that people who have suffered a TBI may experience. Some symptoms include vomiting, headache, dizziness and balance concerns, breathing problems, confusion, ect., and that is just the beginning.

Although some of these symptoms can be short term and get less severe over time, there is a good chance that someone can experience many long term effects after suffering a traumatic brain injury. These include loss of memory (amnesia), focal neurological deficits such as muscle weakness, loss of vision, change in speech, ect., and an overall weakened mental state.

If someone were to experience a more serious traumatic brain injury, or multiple ones over a short period of time, they might be more likely to go into a vegetative state or even die. The long term effect can get even worse if you experience multiple TBIs. Psychology Today says that if you have suffered three or more concussions you are more likely to have long-term cognitive impairment and emotional struggles. Multiple concussions can cause depression, anger, and memory loss. To learn more about the symptoms for a TBI visit the CDCs website.

It is estimated that around 1.6 to 3.8 million sports related traumatic brain injuries occur every year, and recreational activities contribute to about 21 percent of all TBIs among American children and adolescents. The reason why sports often contribute to traumatic brain injuries is because more aggressive sports, like football, soccer, rugby, lacrosse, etc. involve a lot of person to person contact often resulting in blows to the head.

There also may be a high underestimate of traumatic brain injuries reported due to many people failing to seek medical help after sustaining their injury. Many people, especially adolescents, are likely to assume they have just a mild concussion and fail to go to the doctor. This is not good because it can result in their condition getting worse, and put them at a higher risk of sustaining serious long term injuries.

There are several ways to treat a TBI. Some include rest, medication, and surgery. The treatment will vary depending on how severe the injury is. The medication often used to treat a TBI is called Diuretic. Diuretic helps remove all extra water from the body and treats high blood pressure.

The type of surgery needed to treat a severe TBI is called a decompressive craniectomy. This surgery removes part of the skull so that an injured brain can swell without being squeezed.

Although these are very effective treatments, there is still a likely possibility a patient can end up paralyzed or dead. So, it is very important to seek help right away if you were to sustain a TBI. No matter how serious it seems at the moment it is better to be safe than sorry.

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