Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is caused by a jolt or blow to the head or an object that pierces the skull and brain tissue. TBI results in a disruption to the normal brain function. Signs of TBI include changes in mental state (disorientation, slow thinking, difficulty concentrating), amnesia (loss of memory) before or after the TBI, loss of consciousness (fainting or near fainting), and neurological signs like muscle weakness, speech changes, or loss of vision. Mild TBI can affect the brain temporarily, while more serious TBI can cause bleeding, bruising, tissue tears, and other damage to the brain. This can result in long-term complications or death.
There are a wide variety of symptoms of TBI depending on the severity of the injury and the cause. Any time someone has received a blow to the head that causes behavioral changes they should seek medical care. Common causes of TBI are sports injuries, falls, vehicle collisions, violence, explosive blasts, and combat injuries. Symptoms can range from headache, nausea and vomiting in milder cases to convulsions or seizures, slurred speech, or coma in more severe injuries.
The gold standard for assessment of TBI is a computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan. This test detects fractures, bleeding, and lesions in the brain after a TBI. After the injury is no longer acute (fresh), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is sometimes used to look for lesions not seen on a CT scan.
Sometimes a patient with TBI will be monitored closely for the next few days or weeks to assess whether surgery will be beneficial and to see whether the condition of the brain is changing. Many patients with moderate to severe TBI are taken straight from the emergency room to the operating room to address a large hematoma (collection of blood) or contusion (bruise) that is causing pressure within the skull or compressing the brain.
The severity of a TBI is assessed using the Glasgow Coma Scale, a 15-point test that allows the medical professional to check a person’s speech coherence (making sense), ability to follow directions, and ability to move their limbs and eyes. The test is scored from 3-15. Patients with a mild TBI score in the 13-15 range and tend to recover well. Patients with moderate and severe TBI recover less often and have a wide range of outcomes, from death or a persistent vegetative state to mild, moderate, or severe disability. Patients with any level of disability are often sent to head-injury rehabilitation centers to learn how to function as well as they can with any long-term impairments that result after TBI.
TBI causes a wide variety of physical, emotional, and social stress on the patient and their caregivers. Bio-Touch is a highly effective complementary system that can address the holistic needs of a person who has experienced a TBI.
The information presented in this workbook is for educational purposes only. Medical advice is neither offered nor implied. Please consult a healthcare professional for medical advice.