What is Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a type of acquired brain injury. It is caused by a sudden trauma to the brain. TBI is often the result of the head abruptly and forcefully hitting something. You can also receive a traumatic brain injury from an object piercing your skull and entering the brain.

Mild Cases

Concussions | Brain Injury
Know when to see the doctor

There are mild cases of TBI. Symptoms of mild cases include temporary confusion and headache.

Traumatic

More serious cases can result in:

  • Unconsciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Disability
  • Coma
  • Death

From the CDC

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports:

  1. TBI results in about 230,000 hospitalizations each year in the USA.
  2. About 1.1 million TBI cases are treated in emergency rooms with the patient later released.
  3. Close to 2% of the population lives with TBI disabilities.
  4. 2 million children and adults receive a TBI injury each year.
  5. About 50,000 patients die from TBI annually.
  6. A TBI injury occurs about every 15 seconds.
  7. Some TBI patients are not seen in emergency rooms or receive care. The number is unknown.
  8. Direct medical costs and productivity losses from TBI are more than $60 billion each year.

Children

Children are often the victims of TBI.

  • They suffer about 2700 deaths each year.
  • There are 37,000 hospital admissions of children.
  • There are also 435,000 emergency room visits yearly.

Medications

There are, ad yet, no effective medications to improve the outcome of TBI patients.

Causes

The primary causes of TBI are falls (28%), motor vehicle accidents (20%), being struck or striking somethings (19%), and assaults (11%).

Symptoms

Some symptoms are subtle and may not appear at first. Sometimes, they are noticeable weeks later.

Our brain controls thoughts, sensations, movements, and behavior. When the brain is injured, it swells and affects brain control. Brain tissue then presses against the skull causing more damage.

Common Signs and Symptoms

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Fatigue (tiredness) and lethargy
  • Getting lost easily
  • Persistent headaches
  • Persistent pain in the neck
  • Slowness in thinking, speaking, reading or acting
  • Moodiness – suddenly feeling sad or angry for no clear reason
  • Sleep pattern changes – this may include either sleeping much more or much or less than usual or having trouble sleeping
  • Light-headedness, dizziness
  • Becoming more easily distracted
  • Increased photosensitivity (sensitivity to light)
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

Children’s Symptoms

As any parent knows, children and often more difficult to diagnose than adults. Children will suffer the same symptoms as above but might not express them.

Look for other symptoms:

  1. Sleep pattern changes
  2. More irritability
  3. Listlessness
  4. Balance problems
  5. Loss of recently acquired skills
  6. Changes is play behavior
  7. Refusing to eat.
  8. A loss of interest in toys
  9. Tired
  10. Walking problems
  11. Vomiting

When to See a Doctor

If you have suffered a blow to the head, you should see a doctor.

You should go to an emergency room if you, a family member, or friends develop:

  • Convulsions
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness in the arms and legs.

Don’t wait. TBI is a serious injury that can lead to lifelong disability or even death. Treat it with respect.

For more information contact the firm of Wagar Richard Kutcher Tygier & Luminais, LLP