Content approved by Jerry Parker
Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, happen to about 2.5 million people in the United States every year. These head injuries often result in permanent life changes, not only for the patient but also for families and caregivers.
What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
A traumatic brain injury happens when a severe blow or jolt to the head causes damage to the brain. These injuries range from mild to severe, and every TBI is unique.
- A mild TBI may involve a short loss of consciousness or change in mental state.
- A severe TBI can cause a long loss of consciousness and sometimes causes permanent disability.
Common Treatment Options for a TBI
Doctors use the Glasgow Coma Scale to assess the severity of a brain injury. This 15-point assessment tests a patient’s ability to follow instructions and move body parts. Lower scores indicate a more severe injury.
- Treatment for a mild TBI might just involve rest and the use of over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Treatment for a moderate or severe TBI may include providing oxygen and an adequate blood supply, monitoring blood pressure, minimizing secondary damage from inflammation, preventing seizures, and/or surgery.
Living With a TBI
After a traumatic brain injury, many people need rehabilitation to relearn basic skills. Rehabilitation can be performed on an inpatient or outpatient level, and the duration of the rehabilitation varies.
- Specialists who provide rehabilitation include occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech and language pathologists, neuropsychologists, recreational therapists and vocational counselors.
Additional Resources for Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Facts About TBI: A traumatic brain injury can cause effects that last for a couple of days or for the rest of a patient’s life.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Most of the time, a TBI happens from a violent blow or jolt to the head.
- What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury? A traumatic brain injury causes sudden damage to the brain, and it may be a closed or penetrating injury.
- Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page: TBI symptoms can range from mild to serious depending on the injury.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments: With a TBI, the normal function of the brain is disrupted.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: A brain injury can range from a mild concussion to an injury that leads to death.
- TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury: The most common causes of TBIs include falls, being hit by an object, and car accidents.
- Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury: Treatment for a mild TBI is usually medication and rest, but a severe TBI might require surgery.
- Brain Injury Basics: No brain injuries are exactly the same, and the effects of brain injuries are often complex.
- Concussions vs. Traumatic Brain Injury: A concussion is a type of brain injury involving the loss of normal brain function for a short time.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Symptoms and Treatment: Mild concussion symptoms usually last only for a few days or weeks.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: What to Know About Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment: Not all blows to the head result in a TBI, and the range of symptoms can vary extensively for these types of brain injuries.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: A TBI can cause a loss of consciousness, confusion, and memory loss.
- Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury: If a severe brain injury occurs, emergency care is needed.
- TBI Basics: Not every severe blow or jolt to the head will cause a TBI.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: With a mild TBI, a patient might just have a little confusion, dizziness, and headache.
- How Does a TBI Happen? A penetrating injury might pierce the skull and even the brain, resulting in damage.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: TBI necessitates a trip to the emergency room and possibly inpatient hospitalization.
- Severe Traumatic Brain Injury: A severe TBI might result in a coma or a vegetative state.
- Traumatic Brain Injury and Epilepsy: Seizures can start occurring after a traumatic brain injury.
- Did You Know? Five Surprising Traumatic Brain Injury Facts: Some of the lasting symptoms of TBI can include altered sense of smell, hearing loss, and vertigo.
- Traumatic Brain and Spinal Cord Injury: Sometimes a traumatic brain injury occurs in conjunction with a spinal cord injury.
- About Traumatic Brain Injury: A moderate or severe TBI might cause repeated vomiting, a continuous headache, convulsions, and slurred speech.
- Brain Trauma Injury Symptoms and Treatment: Traumatic brain injuries are often treated in brain trauma centers.
- Traumatic Brain Injury: Diagnosis of a TBI can be challenging, especially in military combat situations.
- Types and Levels of Brain Injury: A concussion might seem like a mild injury, but impairments can last for a lifetime after a concussion.
- Brain and Head Injuries: Other symptoms of a TBI include slurred speech, weakness and numbness in extremities, and agitation.
- What Is a Traumatic Brain Injury? A traumatic brain injury can cause problems communicating as well as issues with depression and anxiety.
- About Traumatic Brain Injury: A concussion is the mildest type of brain injury.