TBI Facts

ABOUT TBI

According to the National Institute of Health, a TBI is a sudden injury from an external force that affects the functioning of the brain. The most common cause is a concussion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states 1.7 million people in the United States experience a TBI each year and approximately 53,000 people die from TBI-related injuries per year. TBIs are most commonly attributed to motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries and falls and according to the CDC, occurrences of documented TBI’s spiked in 2008 and the rates continue to rise every year.

Common facts

More than 200,000 US cases per year

Treatable by a medical professional

Requires a medical diagnosis

Lab tests or imaging often required

Traumatic brain injury often occurs as a result of a severe sports injury or car accident.

Treatment may involve rest, medication, aquatic therapy and surgery.

 

SYMPTOMS

People may experience:

Cognitive: amnesia, inability to speak or understand language, mental confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty thinking and understanding, inability to create new memories, or inability to recognize common things

Infants may cry persistently or be irritable, abnormal laughing and crying, aggression, impulsivity, irritability, lack of restraint, or persistent repetition of words or actions

Whole body: balance disorder, blackout, dizziness, fainting, or fatigue

Mood: anger, anxiety, apathy, or loneliness

Eyes: dilated pupil, raccoon eyes, or unequal pupils, blurry vision

Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting

Speech: slurred speech or impaired voice

Visual: blurred vision or sensitivity to light

Also common: persistent headache, a temporary moment of clarity, bleeding, bone fracture, bruising, depression, loss of smell, nerve injury, post-traumatic seizure, ringing in the ears, sensitivity to sound, or stiff muscles

Critical: consult a doctor for medical advice

 

TREATMENT

Treatment depends on severity

Treatment may involve rest, medication, and surgery.

Medications

Diuretic

Increases urine production to get rid of excess salt and water.

Use Common drugs

Surgery

Decompressive craniectomy

Surgical removal of part of the skull so that an injured brain can swell without being squeezed. 

Therapies

Rehabilitation

Retraining the brain’s pathways to improve mental and physical functioning after an illness or injury. For example, after a blow to the head (concussion).

Cognitive behavioral therapy

A talk therapy focused on modifying negative thoughts, behaviors, and emotional responses associated with psychological distress.

Anger management

Practicing mindfulness, coping mechanisms, and trigger avoidance to minimize destructive emotional outbursts.

Intervention

A branch of psychology that treats personal problems related to school, work, family, and social life.

Specialists

Neurologist

Treats nervous system disorders.

Critical care doctor

Monitors and treats those in intensive care.

Speech therapist

Specializes in voice rehabilitation.

Occupational therapist

Improves daily living and work skills of patients.

Physical medicine and rehabilitation

Restores function and quality of life to those with physical disabilities.

Neurosurgeon

Specializes in nervous system disorders.

Primary care provider (PCP)

Prevents, diagnoses, and treats diseases.