Traumatic brain injury leads to dysfunction of the brain, damage to soft tissues and bones of the skull. Very often, they are a defining stage in the life of the injured person and their family. It is essential to provide timely professional medical assistance and contact accident clinics to minimize the consequences.
More than 50% of people who have received a traumatic brain injury lose part of their physiological functions, become disabled, and subsequently need constant medical care. Rehabilitation of traumatic brain injuries is a fundamental step in returning a person to their regular life with everyday worries.
Symptoms and manifestations of traumatic brain injury after an accident
The nature of symptomatic manifestations directly depends on the type and complexity of the injury after an accident. With minor injuries, headaches or short-term loss of consciousness may occur. In severe cases, a person falls into a prolonged coma, where there is a high probability of death.
The classic symptoms of traumatic brain injury after the accident include:
- The appearance of ringing and noise in the ears, short-term hearing loss, and speech impairment is possible.
- Headaches and dizziness (may be short-term or long-term).
- Nausea and single or repeated vomiting (single vomiting in simple cases).
- Loss of consciousness. In mild cases, a person loses consciousness for up to 20 minutes. In severe cases, they may fall into a coma for several days.
- Blurred consciousness, hallucinations, and memory loss.
- The symptom complex can have significant differences; therefore, you must immediately contact a specialist for diagnostics in case of a head injury.
Types of traumatic brain injury
The primary causes of severe craniocerebral injuries are car accidents up to 60% of cases, accidental/intentional domestic injuries up to 30%, and work-related injuries around 10%.
Given the large number of types and varieties of traumatic brain injuries, doctors use a special classification that takes into account a whole range of parameters:
By the type of injury received, either closed (without visible disturbances in the structure of the skin) or open (with visible disturbances of the skin in the head area).
According to the severity of the injury:
- Severe is accompanied by acute compression and contusion of the brain.
- Moderate significant, but not critical, brain injury (contusion).
- The lung is characterized by slight bruising and concussion.
Doctors use a special scale; according to its criteria, the specialist estimates the complexity of the injury from 3 to 15 units, where 3 is the least light, and 15 is the most severe, to determine the severity of injuries received after the accident.
By the nature of the injury after an accident:
- Compression is accompanied by a contraction of the intracranial space and compression of the brain (the most severe nature of the injury, which leads to death without emergency medical care).
- Axonal diffuse brain damage is accompanied by trauma to the processes of nerve cells (axons) responsible for the transmission of nerve impulses. It is a severe brain stem injury characterized by multiple microscopic hemorrhages.
- The contusion is characterized by hemorrhage and disruption of the structure of the brain tissue due to the mechanical impact of the brain on the cranium.
- A concussion is the simplest type of injury. It is reversible but may be accompanied by a short-term loss of consciousness (no more than 15 minutes).
Only a specialist can determine the nature of the injury received after the initial examination, based on the tests performed.
By type of injury after an accident:
- The associated injury affects the skull, as well as other organs and systems of the body.
- Isolated only affects the skull.
- Combined complex trauma caused by the impact of several external factors, mechanical, chemical, and physical.
Typically, brain injuries occur at the site of a blow to the skull. They can also appear on the opposite side of the skull (due to the counterblow).
Possible complications and the risk of traumatic brain injury after an accident
Any injuries, and even more so to the brain, pose a serious threat to the body’s functions and human life. Given the severity of the injury, the consequences can range from minimal to extremely severe. To avoid dire consequences, you should contact accident clinics and provide first aid.
Although neurologists call the brain a plastic organ that can recover even after very severe damage, its injury poses a threat to a person and can cause the following consequences:
- Permanent or paroxysmal headaches.
- Impairment of cognitive functions and loss of swallowing and breathing functions.
- Loss of sensitivity of the limbs and parts of the body.
- Loss of the function of controlling the pelvic cavity organs (arbitrary acts of defecation and urination are possible).
- Partial or complete memory loss.
- Loss or impairment of visual function.
The brain is responsible for almost all functions of the human body. Therefore, its damage poses a serious danger to life.
Terms of rehabilitation for craniocerebral injuries of varying severity
After an accident, the treatment of head injuries should be carried out only under the strict supervision of highly qualified doctors in equipped medical centers, considering the importance of the brain for the body’s life.
It is crucial to use an integrated approach when treating a patient with first aid to subsequent diagnosis and prescribing a treatment regimen. Typically, treatment of traumatic brain injury after the accident focuses on antiseptic and antibacterial therapy. Given the nature and complexity of the damage and the individual characteristics of the patient’s body, they may require surgery, the use of analgesics, glucocorticoids, and anticonvulsants.
The period of rehabilitation for people with craniocerebral trauma is directly dependent on the level of complexity of the injury and the individual physiological characteristics of the organism. As a rule, in mild cases, rehabilitation after brain injuries takes up to 10 days, with moderate injuries up to 1-2 months, in severe cases from six months or more.
A crucial role in the successful treatment of TBI is played by proper rehabilitation, which includes the use of drug therapy, psychotherapy, occupational therapy, kinesitherapy, and physiotherapy to restore the motor functions of the upper and lower extremities.
Specialized accident clinics assist people with head injuries of varying severity. These clinics employ highly qualified specialists with experience in treating the most severe injuries. Besides, there is all the necessary modern diagnostic equipment from the world’s leading manufacturers. In accident clinics, a personal approach is practiced, considering the individual’s physiological and psychological characteristics.