More traumatic brain injuries,TBIs in children were reported by the CDC in 2009 than 2002.

More traumatic brain injuries,TBIs in children were reported by the CDC in 2009 than 2002.

 

The United States Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has released figures showing that the number of children suffering from traumatic brain injuries, TBIs, which were not fatal has increased by nearly 60 per cent from 2001 to 2009. During this time, more children were heading to the hospital to be checked, the number increasing from roughly 150,000 to 248,000.

There were different reasons for the head injuries, with cycling, football and the playground accounting for many of them, along with basketball and soccer injuries. There were also more males in the 10 to 19 year old age range accounting for these traumatic brain injuries caused by sports injuries, roughly 70 per cent.

Researchers have said that they put the increase in the number of hospital visits down to parental awareness of the seriousness of head injuries compared to in the past. Sports coaches too are now more aware of head injuries, and there are now programs being set up to help them with this.

Protection of the head is still not as automatic as it should be, with some cyclists still not wearing helmets, but progress is being made.

What Is Anoxic Brain Injury?

 

The term anoxic means a total lack of something while hypoxic means a partial lack of, so when an anoxic brain injury is talked about, it refers to a total lack of oxygen to the brain. Most of us know that oxygen is vital to our well being, and if the brain receives inadequate oxygen for four minutes or longer, then brain cells begin to die. After a period of five minutes, permanent anoxic brain injury can occur. Anoxic brain injury is often called cerebral (brain) hypoxia or hypoxic-anoxic injury, HAI, and it is a very serious and life threatening injury.

There are four types of anoxia, all of which can cause damage to the brain that is both serious and can be life threatening, namely, anemic anoxia, toxic anoxia, stagnant anoxia and anoxic anoxia.

Anemic Anoxia occurs when the blood is unable to carry sufficient oxygen to the brain for the brain to function correctly. If the lungs do not perform correctly due to some kind of lung disease, it can lead to inadequate supplies of oxygen reaching the brain which in turn can cause a slow deterioration of the person’s health. Anemic anoxia can be the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, of from chronic anemia, or acute hemorrhaging.

When toxic anoxia is present, it is as a result of toxins being present in the body, and these toxins prevent the oxygen in the blood from being used efficiently. Carbon monoxide poisoning can this type of anoxia.

The third type of anoxia is called stagnant anoxia, or hypoxicischemic injury (HII). This occurs when an internal condition prevents oxygenated blood from reaching the brain. This happens in the case of a stroke, or a heart attack.

The fourth condition is anoxic anoxia, and this is caused when there is not enough oxygen in the air for the body to be able to get oxygenated blood to the brain, and this can occur at high altitudes.

Whether the shortage of oxygen to the brain is caused by disease, choking, brain tumors, suffocation, illegal drug use, or heart attack, the results are the same. The brain is starved of much needed oxygen, and the body may go into a coma as it is unable to function properly without oxygen.

How does this relate to brain trauma injury? When the brain is deprived of oxygen, for whatever reason, the body may present with many of the symptoms seen as the result of a traumatic brain injury.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of tissue that is damaged in the brain as a result of oxygen deprivation, and where that tissue is in the brain.

This is why it is so important to get help immediately if a person becomes unconscious for any reason. Lack of oxygen can lead to an anoxic brain injury, and remember that this can occur after only four minutes.

traumatic brain injury can happen at any age

traumatic brain injury can happen at any age

 

Brain trauma is caused by an injury to the head, but more specifically the brain, and despite the huge advances in the medical and scientific fields, it understandably causes a huge amount of concern. Of course there are different levels of brain trauma, which causes death at one end, and perhaps a minor headache at the other. In between these cases are those which have permanent disabilities, leaving some in a coma or vegetative state, sometimes forever.

So what are the symptoms of brain trauma? Unfortunately, there are many varied symptoms from headaches, slurred speech, an inability to concentrate, one pupil larger than the other, a stiff neck, disturbed sleep, impaired memory, tremors, dizziness, increased aggressive behaviour, difficulty swallowing, problems reading, mood changes, poor sleep patterns, and the list goes on. Fortunately, not everyone has all of these problems with brain trauma, it all depends on the area of the brain that has been traumatized. But nevertheless, brain trauma has to be taken seriously.

Learning how to deal with brain trauma depends entirely on the degree of injury to the brain. If the brain injury seems minor, it could just be that there is a delay in the onset of symptoms, or the injury may indeed be minor. However, to make sure, if the injured person falls asleep, wake them every two or three hours to make sure none of the other symptoms of  head injury are present.

Whatever the symptoms, it is essential to get medical help for brain trauma as soon as possible. There may be internal swelling in the brain that you are unable to see, but that could be causing damage to brain tissue, so get proper medical assistance as soon as you realize there is a problem.

The treatments for brain trauma depend greatly on the actual injuries, the symptoms and the severity too, but treatment can involve surgery, medications, as well as rehabilitation in the form of speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and other therapies depending on the age of the person involved, and their particular problems. But the main thing for brain trauma is to get qualified medical help.

What Is A Closed Head Injury?

 

A head injury can be classified as a closed head injury or an open head injury, the difference being whether any foreign matter has been able to enter the skull. As it name suggests, a closed head injury means there is damage to the brain, but that the skull is intact, whereas for an open head injury, something has penetrated the skull, perhaps glass from the head striking the windshield in a car accident.

Brain injury can be very serious whether it is a closed head injury or not, although an open head wound usually looks nastier because of blood being present.

The most common brain trauma injury of the closed head type occur when the brain is shaken, for example in a car accident. The brain is thrust forward, and back as the vehicle comes to a stop, or it can be a sports injury to the head, or a violent attack. If the injury is minor then the skull is able to protect the brain to some extent, and symptoms of headaches, loss of hearing, disturbed vision, etc, may go away by themselves, but more than half a million head injuries a year in the US require hospitalization. When head injuries result in prolonged bleeding inside the brain, it can result in non-reversible brain damage. For this reason, whenever there is a head injury, medical advice should always be sort to rule out internal bleeding, whether it is a closed head injury or not.

Initial response to a closed head injury is important, especially if the person is unable to answer questions. It is important not to move the patient if there is any chance of spinal injury, as this could make the injury even more serious.

However, the closed head injury is more serious, and may require medical treatment, if the pupils are of unequal size, or there is swelling at the site of the injury to the head. If the senses are compromised too, there is loss of consciousness, slurred speech, clumsiness, personality changes, or vomiting, then medical attention must be sought as soon as is possible.

Because closed head injury symptoms can be delayed, it is important to monitor the injured every two to three hours, and this involves waking the person if they have gone to sleep – a common occurrence when the head is injured. You have to make sure that the person has not slipped into a coma as a result of the head injury.

So to conclude, a head injury can be serious whether it is a closed head injury or not, and if you are concerned in any way about the symptoms of a head injury, get medical assistance as soon as possible.

closed head injury

closed head injury

 

Brain injury rehabilitation is an important aspect of recovering from traumatic brain injury that helps the patient regain as much normal functioning as they are able. Brain injury rehabilitation should not be attempted though until the patient is medically stable, and has received the approval of medical staff to move to this stage of their recovery from brain injury.

Depending on the severity of brain damage, brain injury rehabilitation may be undertaken as an in-patient program, or as an out-patient if the patient has recovered sufficiently and has enough help and support at home. The purpose of this brain injury rehab is to help the patient return to as near normal as possible in as many areas of their life as they can. For example, some brain injury patients may need speech therapy, while others may need help with occupational therapy to retrain them for a job that is more suitable for their current ability level.

As there are many functions that can be affected by brain injury, there can be many areas of rehab needed for each patient, and as a result progress may seem very slow. These programs will help each patient become as functional as possible, so they are able to do as much as possible for themselves in their home, as well as in the workplace, if that is appropriate. This depends entirely on each person, as some brain injuries are more permanent than others.

For those with a relative who has suffered from traumatic brain injury, the toll such an injury can cause family members can be huge, and not just while the patient is in hospital. Patience becomes a virtue in many cases, but this can be very difficult for all involved when the head injury results in financial burdens as well as time constraints and emotional wear and tear. No matter how much we love our family, brain injury can be debilitating for other family members too, not just the physically injured person, and it may be difficult to maintain an optimistic outlook.

However, brain injury rehabilitation will help, but as with most things, it will take time and patience as the brain heals and, hopefully, learns how to function properly again.

brain injury rehabilitation

brain injury rehabilitation

 

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury or to use its shortened form MTBI can be characterized by any one of four symptoms: a loss of consciousness for a short time, a loss of memory either immediately before or after the injury, an alteration in the mental state of the person at the time of the accident, or a problem in nerve, spinal cord, or brain function that affects a specific location.

There are some people who suffer from post concussion syndrome, PCS for a long time – this is one of the mild traumatic brain injury symptoms. These people can experience a significant change in their cognitive functions and their personality as a result of a traumatic brain injury, and these changes should be reported to the attending physician.

The diagnosis of mild traumatic brain injury can be difficult since the symptoms often occur days or weeks or even months after the actual injury, and the symptoms do occur in other illnesses too. When a child is the patient it can be even more challenging as children’s brains develop at different rates, so there is no definite stage each child’s brain should be at for a certain age.

Physicians have no standard treatment for MTBI as yet, because the effects of it can be so wide a range. Physicians generally treat the particular symptoms. One important aspect of MTBI is the education of both the family and the patient, since the patient themselves may not be aware of changes in their personality for example. This means the family need to know what to look for as possible signs of mild traumatic brain injury, without worrying the patient! We all get irritable at times, and when recovering from any illness there is a good chance we will get irritable and frustrated perhaps, so it can be difficult to tell whether there is in fact a personality change going on, or whether the patient is just anxious about their recovery.

It should be noted that mild traumatic brain injury is associated with diminished reaction time and this can be the cause of secondary injury in the patient if they are not made aware of this. Physicians are now more cautious when treating sports injuries that involve concussion, and it is good to see that players are taking longer time off to recover before returning to the game, and that coaches are not pushing them back into play too soon.

Mild traumatic brain injury is not to be taken lightly, so if you suspect its presence in someone who has had a blow to the head, or some kind of head injury, encourage them to see a qualified medical professional as soon as possible.

mild traumatic brain injury

mild traumatic brain injury