What To Expect After A Brain Injury

Oct 17, 2013
Tagged with: What To Expect After A Brain Injury

Head injuries can occur from auto accidents, sports, work-related activities, and explosive blasts in combat. The brain can be affected any time a head injury occurs. Brain injuries can have serious and long-lasting effects. Anyone who suffers a blow to the head should seek medical attention to ensure that brain has not suffered an injury.

What Happens In A Head Injury?
Head injuries can occur to the scalp, the skin covering the head; the skull, the bone case that contains the brain; or the brain itself. Any impact can cause the brain to become jostled within the brain casing. Concussions can be mild or severe. The brain can also suffer a contusion, or bruise, where bleeding occurs. The skull may be fractured, in which the bone casing is broken. Pieces of bone can cut into the brain causing severe injury and damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Brain Injury
The symptoms of a brain injury include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, memory loss, sensitivity to light, speech problems, memory problems, confusion, sleepiness, depression or changes in motor functions. Any unusual physical or behavioral symptoms should be noted as possible evidence of brain injury. Exterior signs include a bump or swelling at the site, bleeding or a dent in the skull.

Complications of Brain Injury
Bleeding into the brain can cause pressure and damage to the brain tissues. Piercing of the skull into the brain can cause damage to brain tissue and loss of sight, motion, memory or other problems. Injury to the brain can also lead to infection of the brain tissues. Severe brain injury can cause loss of coordination or difficulty walking normally. Brain injuries can cause a loss of smell or taste. The pituitary gland within the brain can become damaged, leading to hormonal problems. It may cause mood problems, such as irritability, anger or chronic depression. Brain injury can also cause coma, in which the person is unable to regain consciousness. This can lead to a permanent, vegetative state in which the patient cannot ever be roused back into consciousness. Brain injury can cause permanent problems with cognition, speech or understanding speech.

Diagnosis of Brain Injury
The physician will attempt to learn as much as possible about how the injury happened to determine what type of damage has occurred and what parts of the brain may be involved. He will check the patient’s reflexes and ability to communicate. An x-ray, MRI or CT scan will indicate how and where the damage has occurred.

When To Seek Medical Attention

Anyone who suffers a head injury should stop his or her activity immediately to prevent further injury. This is particularly important during sports activities. Many people try to minimize the injury and carry on with the game, but this can cause more severe problems. Someone should stay with the injured person to observe them for any changes in physical conditions or behavior. Unconsciousness that lasts more than a moment is an indication that the brain has suffered a trauma. Seek medical attention immediately to avoid serious consequences or long-term problems.




TryMunity is a non-profit organization whose goal is to increase awareness and provide support for those affected by traumatic brain injury. You can follow TryMunity on Twitter.

Author: Shelly Duell