Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury is defined as an alteration in brain function which manifests as an altered level of consciousness, seizure, coma or focal neurological deficit resulting from blunt or penetrating force to the head. Head injuries are commonly due to motor vehicle accidents, fall, sports-injury or other blunt forces. Injuries may range from a mild concussion to severe or permanent brain damage.

When to see a doctor?

Traumatic brain injuries may have physical and psychological effects where some symptoms may occur immediately after the traumatic event, whereas some may appear days or weeks later. Traumatic brain injury symptoms may vary from mild, moderate to being severe, depending on the condition of the brain injury. People who have traumatic brain injuries may experience the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Slurred speech
  • Agitation or other unusual behaviour
  • Extension of one or both pupils of the eyes
  • Seizures

If you are experiencing the above symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention.

How is a traumatic brain injury treated?

An emergency surgery may be needed to mitigate additional damage to the brain tissues. The main goal for emergency care for traumatic brain injuries is to make sure that you have enough oxygen and adequate blood supply, monitor and maintain blood pressure, and prevent any further injuries to the head or neck. Brain surgery is recommended by Dr Maharaj to address the following problems:

  • Remove blood clots, also called hematomas. Bleeding that may occur inside or outside the brain may result in the collection of blood clots which then put pressure on the brain, which may damage brain tissue.
  • Repair skull fractures. Surgery is then needed to repair skull fractures or to remove pieces of the skull which may be in the brain.
  • Bleeding in the brain. Surgery is needed to stop the bleeding, which may be caused by a head injury.
  • Open a window in the skull to relieve pressure inside the skull. Surgery is needed to drain the cerebral spinal fluid that has accumulated or to provide more room for swollen tissues.
  • Wilder Penfield

    The brain is an organ of density. It holds within its humming mechanism secrets that will determine the future of the human race.

    Wilder Penfield