Treating A Traumatic Brain Injury
There aren’t any injuries quite like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the way it can change our lives from the inside out. Depending on the severity and location of the TBI, the individual’s entire personality may change or they may no longer be able to perform simple functions for themselves.
What Causes a TBI?
Most commonly, external factors are responsible for causing a traumatic brain injury. These can consist of blunt force trauma, which routinely happens in sports, such as football and hockey. This is why many types of sports require protective head gear. Similar TBI incidences can occur in bicycle and motorcycle accidents. Most states require protective headgear to be worn by bicyclists and motorcyclists to help prevent a TBI from occurring in an accident.
A TBI can also be caused when a foreign object pierces the skull and strikes the brain. This primarily happens when firearms are used. The bullet penetrates the brain, causing the TBI. In these cases, the injury is severe and is almost always fatal. In fact, 90% of people shot in the head die from the TBI.
Every year in the United States, there are 1.5 million people diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. Of those people, 50,000 die and 85,000 are left severely disabled. Additionally, 5.3 million individuals live with a permanent TBI in the U.S. alone.
Treating a TBI is Possible
When the initial injury doesn’t cause death, it is possible to treat an individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury. The first act must be to provide immediate medical attention, so oxygen and blood flow to the brain can be ensured. Emergency attention may also be needed to limit further injuries to the neck and spine.
A doctor may prescribe drugs to prevent a secondary TBI. For instance, he may prescribe diuretics to promote urine production and release fluid in the tissue. Also, the doctor may prescribe anti-seizure drugs to patients with moderate to severe TBIs. This is because the likelihood of experiencing a seizure is stronger within the first week, following the incident. Coma-inducing drugs may be administered to patients with more serious traumatic brain injuries. This is because the brain needs less oxygen to function, while in a coma.
It may also be necessary to undergo neurological services and treatment Los Angeles CA, depending on the nature of the brain injury. The surgeon may need to remove clotted blood in the brain, repair fractures to the skull, eliminate bleeding in the brain, or relieve pressure inside the skull. Left untreated, any of these conditions could cause the brain to develop worsening injuries, so it’s important to receive the necessary procedures as soon as possible.
Even after immediate medical treatment, the patient will need outpatient therapy. He or she will need therapy to recover from both the injury and the surgical treatment. Additionally, the patient may need physical therapy to improve motor functioning, speech, or other cognitive functions affected by the TBI. In many cases, the recovering patient will have to work with several different specialists, before they’re able to function more normally in society.