Friday, November 11, 2016
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury or TBI, is a form of acquired brain injury. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. 1 Traumatic brain injury can also occur when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue. Symptoms of a TBI can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of damage to the brain tissue. An individual with a mild TBI may remain conscious or can experience a loss of consciousness for a few seconds, or a few minutes. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain which can result in long-term complications or death. 1 Other symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury include headache, lightheadedness, confusion, dizziness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, bad taste in the mouth, fatigue, change in sleep patterns, mood changes, and memory loss, just to name a few. Someone with moderate to severe TBI may show these same symptoms, but will have a severe headache that will not go away, repeated vomiting or nausea, convulsions or seizures, inability to awaken from sleep, dilation of pupils, slurred speech, loss of coordination, and increased confusion.
The best treatment for TBI is prevention, such as wearing a seatbelt when in a motor vehicle, and wearing a properly fitted helmet when riding a bike or playing sports like hockey or football. 2 Though prevention sounds so easy, it cannot stop accidents from happening. Anyone with signs of moderate to severe TBI should receive medical attention as soon as possible. When attempting to treat TBI it is important that medical attention be received as soon as possible due to the fact that little can be done to reverse the initial brain damage caused by trauma. The main concerns include insuring adequate oxygen supply to the brain and the rest of the body, maintaining blood flow, and controlling blood pressure. Moderately to severely injured can receive rehabilitation that involve individually tailored treatment programs in the form of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech/ language therapy, psychology, and social support.
What can be done for TBI clients?
Each TBI will be different, so it is important to take note of the physical limitations of each individual. TBI clients will usually have a great deal more function than most patients that you would see in a physical therapy lab. It is important to tailor the rehabilitation regimen to the specificity if the individual, and the injury. It is important to work what can be worked, if there are areas for improvement take advantage of them. Push the client to get better and accomplish goals. Most of all it is important to uphold a contagiously positive attitude because the client will feed off of your energy. For any injuries there is a psychological toll that is taken upon the individual, so it is important to attempt to reverse that as much as possible through positive reinforcement, goal setting, and most of all goal achieving.
1Staff, B. M. (2014, May 15). Traumatic Brain Injury. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/basics/definition/con-20029302
2Traumatic Brain Injury Information Page: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). (2016, September 8). Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/tbi/tbi.htm
3News Editor, P. (2015). Cognitive Rehabilitation Therapy for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Does It Work?.Psych Central. Retrieved on October 11, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2011/10/13/cognitive-rehabilitation-therapy-for-traumatic-brain-injury-tbi-does-it-work/30325.html