Effects of a Brain Injury
The effects of a brain injury depend on the severity of the injury and the type of injury endured. Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) effects can be long-lasting, debilitating and seriously impair one’s quality of life. In severe cases, individuals are left in long-term unresponsive states. Even if their brain injury is not as severe, they often require long-term rehabilitation, but even rehabilitation will never allow the patient to function as he or she once did. Mild cases of TBI can also have life-altering effects on a person’s life, impacting his or her social interactions and job performance. It can also lead to extreme depression.
Non-traumatic brain injuries have comparable effects on patients as TBIs. However, while the effects of TBIs are centered in a specific area of the brain where the physical impact occurred, damage for non-traumatic injuries is often spread throughout the brain.
Treatment of Brian Injury
Treatment options vary depending on the type of brain injury and its severity. There are three stages of treatment for Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs): acute treatment for stabilizing the patient immediately after the trauma; subacute treatment to rehabilitate the patient; and chronic treatment for continued rehabilitation.
Acute treatment begins when the patient is brought to the hospital and focuses on saving the patient’s life and minimizing secondary injury and life support. Doctors will attempt to stabilize the patient by administering resuscitation procedures if necessary, unblock airways, keep blood circulating and monitoring the patient’s vital functions. The injuries may be so severe that surgery is required. During surgery, blood clots are removed to relieve intracranial pressure.
After the patient is stabilized, subacute treatment begins. Subacute treatment is meant to detect any complications from acute treatment, facilitate neurological and functional recovery and prevent any future injury. Facility staff carefully monitors the patient for any infections, bed sores or other complications associated with brain injury. The patient will also work closely with rehabilitation professionals such as physical, occupational and speech therapists, neuropsychologists and nurses in order to cope with their injury and its effects.
For patients whose disabilities cause lifelong impairment, chronic treatment is required. It often includes ongoing physical and speech therapy sessions, counseling to cope with the devastating injury and medications. Chronic treatment is typical of moderate to severe TBI survivors.