How can you know if you have TBI? How to deal with TBI? And what steps should you take if you do? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Traumatic brain injury occurs after sudden brain damage. If something hits your head but doesn’t penetrate the skull, it’s a closed head injury. If an object breaks through, it’s a penetrating head injury.
With increasing severity, the symptoms are longer and more serious. So if you experience head trauma and then develop these symptoms, it’s time to see a medical professional.
So, what are the steps to take if you think you have TBI?
First, you’ll need to see a doctor. They’ll begin the diagnosis process with a simple physical examination and ask you some basic questions about the injury.
The Glasgow Coma Scale is a quick and easy way for doctors to assess the initial severity of brain injury. This test scores you on a scale from 3-15 to assess injury severity. A higher score means that your injury is less severe.
Finally, they’ll follow up with some imaging tests. A CT scan can show any fractures, brain bleeding, bruised brain tissue, swelling, or clotting. An MRI produces a more detailed view of the brain. (click here to learn the differences between CT and MRI)
Mild TBI only needs rest and over-the-counter pain medicine for headaches. But anyone with mild TBI should be closely monitored for any worsening or new symptoms.
More severe TBI requires immediate emergency care to prevent further injury. The doctor will also make sure they have enough oxygen and blood and will work to reduce inflammation.
Medication may be provided to limit damage, such as diuretics to reduce pressure in the brain by reducing the amount of fluid. A coma-inducing drug may be used to induce a brain state requiring less oxygen and nutrients. Anti-seizure drugs may be provided for the first-week post-injury to avoid the additional damage that would occur if a seizure happens.
Finally, in the situation of a crisis, emergency surgery may need to be provided immediately. Any skull fractures, blood clots, or bleeding may need to be corrected by surgery. A window in the skull may need to be opened to relieve pressure, drain cerebral spinal fluid, and make room for swollen brain tissue.
After brain injury, the best course of action is to undergo rehabilitation. Depending on the severity, treatment may be required to improve daily activities and even relearn basic skills.
Rehabilitation can include:
Depending on your needs, you can choose one or more of these rehabilitation specialties to start to get your life back on track.
Now you know about traumatic brain injury signs and symptoms, as well as the steps to take if you experience TBI. Have you been in an accident that caused a head injury? Call 1-800-897-8440 today to request an appointment with the top injury doctors to assess your best course of treatment today.