Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBIs are any form of injury that is confined to the cranium. In the medical community it is also called as intracranial injury and can be brought about by external forces that adversely affect the structural integrity of the brain tissues. It should not be confused with head injury since this typically includes all associated structures of the head including the skull and the scalp in addition to the brain. As such one can say that TBI is a form of head injury that occurs specifically to the brain tissue itself.
Signs and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries
The clinical manifestations of TBIs are generally dependent on the part of the brain that is injured. It is for this reason that individuals with TBI can present with very mild symptoms or even life-threatening ones. There are also those that present strictly with physical signs only while others present with cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and even social manifestations. Generally, the following signs and symptoms can be observed in an individual with traumatic brain injury.
Momentary loss of consciousness Mild changes in level of consciousness Fatigue, drowsiness, headache Changes in sleep patterns Nausea and vomiting Problems with speech Loss of balance or dizziness Mild sensory problems Sensitivity to sound or light Problems in memory, focus, or concentration Mood swings or changes in mood Anxiety or depression
Moderate to severe TBI
Loss of consciousness that can last from several minutes to several hours Convulsions or seizures Progressively worsening headache or headache that wont go away Loss of coordination Frequent nausea or vomiting Dilated pupils with sluggish reaction to light and accommodation Clear drainage from ears of nose Numbness or weakness of fingers and toes Difficulty or inability to be awakened from sleep Profound confusion Slurring of speech Combativeness, agitation, or any other highly unusual behavior Coma
Common Causes of TBIs
There are a variety of causes of Traumatic Brain Injuries. It should be understood that these are generally brought by a blow or force applied to the head or even to the body that can radiate to the head. Because the brain is confined in a very tight space inside the skull, vibrations, shocks, and even penetrating injuries can damage the brain tissues. Here are some of the more common causes of TBIs.
Falls Falling down a ladder or stairs or even from the bed or in a bathtub are common examples.
Traffic accidents These can include all road-related accidents involving vehicles, motorists, and pedestrians.
Violence Child abuse, domestic violence, shaken baby syndrome, and gunshot wounds can cause TBIs.
Sports injuries Contact sports, physically demanding sports events, extreme sports, and adventure sports can also injure the brain.
Explosions and other conflict injuries These are very common among military personnel as well as people in conflict areas.
Traumatic Brain Injuries can be as mild as having a headache or as severe as getting comatose with very slim chance of survival. Knowing its causes and manifestations should allow you to seek help at the soonest possible time.