Traumatic brain injury involves temporary or permanent damage to brain tissue. It is usually the result of a hard impact to the head or face and is often associated with bleeding into the brain and/or swelling of the brain. Depending upon the severity of the traumatic brain injury, symptoms may range from confusion, to loss of consciousness, to coma, all of which may vary in duration.
Common causes of traumatic brain injury are automobile accidents, falls, sporting accidents and industrial accidents.
The treatment of traumatic brain injury involves support of all vital body systems. Because the brain often swells following injury, pressure within the skull may increase. If the pressure rises too much, blood flow to the brain can decrease. Under these circumstances further brain injury may occur and measures to lower pressure within the brain are used.
Severity of traumatic brain injury varies greatly. Some patients recover completely, while others may suffer severe, permanent brain damage or death. Healing from a traumatic brain injury may occur quickly or may be very slow. Some patients may take many months to fully heal. Unfortunately the medical profession does not have very accurate predictors of how individual patients will recover following a traumatic brain injury. The doctors can provide guidlines of how an individual may recover and what the family should expect.
Related LinksNational Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine presents information and pictures about Traumatic Brain Injury.