What is head injury?
A traumatic brain injury, also referred to an acquired brain injury, occurs when someone suffers a sudden trauma that causes damage to the brain. When the head suddenly and violently hits an object, a traumatic brain injury may occur. If an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue, a TBI may occur.
What are the causes of head injuries?
• A blow to the head resulting from a fall, a traffic accident, an accident at work, or a sports injury.
• Damage to Brain tissue following a stroke, Brain surgery, or Brain tumour.
• A viral infection.
• Lack of oxygen to the Brain during a heart attack.
What are the signs and symptoms of Head injury?
An individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury can feel dizzy, nauseous, confused, or depressed. Headaches, memory loss, difficulty in sleeping (or sometimes, oversleeping or feeling sleepy during inopportune times), increased sensitivity to noise or light, and memory and concentration problems are also common symptoms among people suffering from a traumatic brain injury.
Danger Signs in Adults
In rare cases, a person with a concussion may form a dangerous blood clot that crowds the brain against the skull. Contact your health care professional or emergency department right away if you experience these danger signs after a bump, blow, or jolt to your head or body:
- Headache that gets worse and does not go away.
- Weakness, numbness or decreased coordination.
- Repeated vomiting or nausea.
- Slurred speech.
The people checking on you should take you to an emergency department right away if you:
- Look very drowsy or cannot wake up.
- Have one pupil (the black part in the middle of the eye) larger than the other.
- Have convulsions or seizures.
- Cannot recognize people or places.
- Are getting more and more confused, restless, or agitated.
- Have unusual behavior.
- Lose consciousness.
Danger Signs in Children
Take your child to the emergency department right away if they received a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body, and:
- Have any of the danger signs for adults listed above.
- Will not stop crying and are inconsolable.
- Will not nurse or eat.
How is traumatic brain injury identified and treated?
How traumatic brain injury is treated very much depends on the severity of the trauma. If the traumatic brain injury is mild, then headaches or neck pain can be treated with medication or physiotherapy. If the trauma is severe, swelling or haemorrhages often occur and these frequently require surgery. So that the degree of severity and the injuries can be defined, various diagnostic steps are carried out. The most important examinations are the CT scan where the patient’s head is X-rayed or imaging using an MRI scan. Skull fractures and haemorrhages in the brain are easy to detect.
Medications to limit secondary damage to the brain immediately after an injury may include:
Diuretics – causing increased passing of urine.
Anti-seizure drugs-to treat epileptic seizures.
Coma-inducing drugs. to cause a temporary coma or a deep state of unconsciousness.
Emergency surgery may be needed to minimize additional damage to brain tissues. Surgery may be used to address the following problems:
- Removing clotted blood (hematomas). Bleeding outside or within the brain can result in a collection of clotted blood (hematoma) that puts pressure on the brain and damages brain tissue.
- Repairing skull fractures. Surgery may be needed to repair severe skull fractures or to remove pieces of skull in the brain.
- Opening a window in the skull. Surgery may be used to relieve pressure inside the skull by draining accumulated cerebral spinal fluid or creating a window in the skull that provides more room for swollen tissues.
Most people who have had a significant brain injury will require rehabilitation. They may need to relearn basic skills, such as walking or talking. The goal is to improve their abilities to perform daily activities.