Traumatic Brain Injury Essay

1720 words - 7 pages

Overview

Brain injury is the leading cause of death and disability in children and adults from ages 1 to 44. Motor vehicle crashes, sports injuries, or simple falls commonly result in brain injuries, events causing brain injury frequently occur on playgrounds, at work, or in the home. There are two different types of brain injury: traumatic brain injury and non-traumatic brain injury. Traumatic brain injury happens when a force acts rapidly on the head or neck of an individual causing direct physical injury to the brain. Non-traumatic brain injury occurs when a person experiences the physiological event leading to a disturbance in normal brain function i.e. Loss/increase of oxygen, or blood flow. Every year, approximately 52,000 deaths occur from traumatic brain injury.

Both types of classifications happen in a two-stage process, primary and secondary damage. Primary injury can be the result of numerous factors such as Skull fracture, contusions, and bruises, hematomas, lacerations, or nerve damage. Secondary Brain damage happens shortly after the initial primary trauma. Most deaths in emergency rooms happen due to secondary brain damage.

Because the brain and brainstem are very easily injured there has been much research and development of technology in efforts of prevention. The first line of defense against TBI is educating the public about Health and safety, this effort, if acknowledged can greatly reduce the risk of TBI. Sports Brain injuries can range from complete rehabilitation, short or long-term Motor function loss, and even in extreme yet somewhat common circumstances, death. Because TBI is so prevalent in professional sports, there is much research developing or improving technologies to protect athletes.

There are varying levels of severity and complexity with each type of injury. The severity is determined using different methods that measure factors of the injury. The most commonly used method is the Glasgow Coma Scale; other methods include Loss of consciousness and post-traumatic amnesia. Measuring symptoms prevalent in the patient often uses the methods mentioned above. Symptoms can become prevalent during either the primary or secondary stages of TBI. Symptoms are classified as categories of: mild, moderate, or severe. There are procedures that emergency responders and hospitals must observe in order to assist a patient who has experienced a TBI.

There are many procedures put in place to treat TBI; these treatments may greatly reduce risk of permanent damage. Treatment begins with emergency responders in what is referred to as acute treatment, it is important to assess the initial damage, to be sure that the brain is not swelling and that it is receiving oxygen and nutrients necessary to function. Once the patient is stabilized doctors may begin subacute treatment, this primary treatment is to prevent further damage to the brain due to swelling and other complications. Often damage can continue to occur days, months, and...

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