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Traumatic Brain Injury

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TBI or Traumatic Brain Injury is a sudden injury that causes brain damage. It can happen due to a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. This is also known as a closed head injury. A TBI can also occur when an object enters the skull. This is a serious wound. 

Mild traumatic brain injury can temporarily affect your brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can cause bruising, torn tissues, bleeding, and other physical brain damage. These injuries can also cause long-term complications or even death.

What factors contribute to traumatic brain injury?

When you take a violent, hard blow to the head, your brain may change its chemical and energy use to compensate for the injury. Headaches, light/sound sensitivity, and confusion can result from these changes. These changes are brief and do not permanently harm the brain in mild TBIs. However, these changes can last longer with more severe injuries and cause brain cell damage. These effects can cause the brain inside the skull to swell and expand. The swelling has the potential to cause even more brain damage.

What are the different kinds of traumatic brain injuries?

Traumatic Brain Injury comes in a variety of forms. Here are a few examples:

1. Mild concussion

A mild concussion is known as the most common type of TBI. Concussions account for three out of every four TBIs each year. These mTBIs can cause brief changes in consciousness, such as feeling “dazed” or losing consciousness for less than 30 minutes. People suffering from an mTBI may experience confusion for about one day, distinct from difficulties with attention or memory.

2. Moderate TBI

This type of head injury causes loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes but less than one day. Confusion can last for a week or more.

3. Severe TBI

Individuals suffering from this type of head injury are unconscious for more than a day. These injuries are frequently associated with changes in a head CT or MRI.

4. Uncomplicated TBI

Head CT/brain MRI is normal, regardless of whether the grade is mild, moderate, or severe.

5. Complicated TBI

Changes in the brain, such as bleeding, can be seen using a head CT or MRI.

6. Closed

Most TBIs have been closed. A closed TBI emerges when an external force delivers a blow or jolt to the head that does not penetrate the skull. The brain is injured due to this impact, causing it to swell.

7. Open

Open TBI may also be referred to as penetrating TBI by healthcare providers. This injury emerges when a bullet, knife, or other object enters the skull. If the object enters the brain, it causes direct damage to brain tissue.

8. Nontraumatic

A hypoxic/anoxic brain injury is another term for it. Some TBIs are not caused by trauma. They can be caused by seizures and events such as choking and near-fatal drownings. These incidents have the potential to deprive the brain of oxygen.

What are the treatments available for Traumatic Brain Injury?

TBI treatments are determined by various factors, including the size, severity, and location of the brain injury.

1. Moderate to Severe TBI

The initial step in treating moderate to severe TBI is stabilizing you to prevent further injury. They will monitor your blood pressure, check the pressure inside your skull, and ensure sufficient blood and oxygen reach your brain.

2. Mild TBI

Rest is the primary treatment for mild TBI. You can try taking over-the-counter pain relievers if you have a headache. It is crucial to follow your physician’s guidelines for complete rest and a gradual return to normal activities. If you begin doing too much too soon, this may take longer to recover. If your symptoms aren’t improving or experiencing new ones, talk to your doctor.

3. Severe TBI

  • If you have a severe TBI injury, the doctor will start by stabilizing your injury.
  • It involves getting oxygen to your brain and body, maintaining blood flow, and
    managing blood pressure.
  • These precautions help control further damage. You can get the medicines in the
    hospital, or you could need surgery.
  • The surgeon can repair the skull fracture, relieve pressure inside the skull, stop
    bleeding in the brain, or remove blood clots.
  • Surgery may be required immediately in severe cases. Sometimes blood clots can
    take time to form, and therefore surgery is needed days or weeks after the injury.

Final Thoughts

While many traumatic brain injuries cause permanent damage, the brain can and frequently does heal independently. On the other hand, patients must use their brain’s neuroplasticity to achieve the best recovery outcomes.


Dr. Manish Budhiraja is MBBS, MS (Surgery), M.Ch (Neurosurgery) PGIMER Chandigarh, Fellowship in Neuroendoscopy.

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