Common Treatment Methods for TBIs
Accidents happen all the time and people can get injured in many different ways, from broken bones to cuts and scrapes. Head injuries can be some of the worst and most life-altering, and there are many different ways for these sorts of injuries to occur, from auto accidents to slips and falls or even hard tackles while playing football with your friends.
When the head suffers any kind of impact, blow, or sudden knock, there's always a risk of a traumatic brain injury, otherwise known as a TBI. A TBI is medically diagnosed when some sort of damage to the head results in a disruption of brain function, with estimates suggesting that approximately 1.5 million Americans suffer this sort of injury every year.
Traumatic brain injuries can vary in severity. Some are relatively mild, with only minor side effects that fade away quite quickly, but others can be far more severe and truly life-changing for those concerned, resulting in problems with memory loss, difficulties with basic cognitive functions, loss of fundamental functions like the ability to communicate, and so on.
This is why TBIs need to be taken seriously, and it's important for everyone to take steps to protect their brains as much as possible by doing things like wearing helmets while riding bikes, driving safely to avoid crashes and collisions, and being safe on the sports field too. If you do suffer a TBI, it may be treated in various ways, as the guide below will explain.
One of the most important things to know about TBIs is that they can have many different symptoms. Many people are aware of issues like concussions and cognitive problems after these kinds of injuries, but it's also common for people with TBIs to suffer physical aches and pains, like serious migraines or repeated headaches.
Therefore, it's often the case that TBI patients will be prescribed some sort of medication in the early stages after their accident. The medication used in TBI cases isn't usually designed to heal the brain or undo the damage that has been done; instead, its main purpose is typically to alleviate some of the pain that a patient may be feeling.
Painkillers, for example, may be given to a TBI patient who is suffering from headaches after an accident. This can be a really important step of the recovery process, not only for the patient's comfort and quality of life but also to facilitate the additional steps of treatment that may follow, like cognitive therapy.
Rest and Relaxation
In many cases, especially milder cases, TBIs may be treated with simple rest and relaxation. If someone hits their head and feels dizzy afterward, for example, the damage done to the brain might not be too severe and should not require much or any medical intervention. Instead, a doctor might simply ask the patient to get some rest and let their body recover naturally.
Usually, the doctor will talk about two different types of rest: physical rest and mental rest. Physical rest is all about lying down, getting some sleep, and avoiding any kind of intense physical activities like driving, playing sports, or engaging in different types of hobbies that could put the brain in further danger of injury.
Mental rest, meanwhile, is focused on rest specifically designed to let the brain recover. To rest mentally, a patient should refrain from any taxing mental activities or other actions that put stress on the brain, like reading books, doing work, solving puzzles, and so on. Instead, the patient should simply lie back and get rest in the purest form.
Therapy is another form of treatment that is commonly required when treating patients who have suffered some sort of traumatic brain injury. Various different types of therapy may be needed after a concussion or TBI to help the patient recover, depending on the nature of the injury and the extent of the side effects.
A doctor will need to examine a patient and run tests to find out what sort of therapy they might require. In extreme cases, patients may struggle with simple cognitive tasks and may suffer memory loss after a TBI, so they might need cognitive therapy or occupational therapy to relearn certain things.
Mental and emotional therapy might be needed too, as it's common for patients to struggle with mental health problems like stress, anxiety, and depression after a TBI accident. Even physical therapy may be needed if the patient has suffered damages to the brain affecting issues like mobility and balance.
The brain is an immensely complex organ, but it's also a very fragile one. This is why the human body has naturally evolved its own defenses to protect the brain, but in situations like auto accidents and nasty falls, the body's own defenses may not be enough to prevent serious damages. In these cases, when the head has been massively injured, surgery might be required.
In the aftermath of an auto accident, for example, doctors may need to operate quite quickly on a patient in order to reduce the amount of damage done to their brain. This surgery may be life-saving in some cases, and it's often very important to act fast, as the brain can continue to suffer more and more damage if the injury is left untreated.
A patient may need to be stabilized and given oxygen support to provide a steady flow of oxygen to the brain. They may also require transfusions while surgeons operate to remove foreign matter from the skull or brain and repair as much of the damage as possible. After surgery, other treatments like therapy and medication may be prescribed.
TBIs can be some of the worst injuries anyone can suffer, with terrible and long-lasting consequences in the worst cases. Fortunately, medical science has evolved a lot in recent years and there are now better and more effective treatment methods than ever before to give each patient the best chance of a full recovery.