What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury is a serious and complicated injury that occurs in the brain as a result of an unexpected powerful blow to the head, leading to a brain malfunction. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury is also caused by bullet shot to the head, a fall that shatters the brain, or a sharp object piercing the brain. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury may result in temporary or more serious damage to brain cells and tissues.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

What is a Trauma to the Head?

When an injury causes damage to the skull, brain, or scalp, trauma occurs. Head traumas involve vascular injury, hemorrhage, neuronal, or cranial nerve injury.

What is Open Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

This is a situation whereby there is a penetration in the skull, fracture, or breakage in the skull. Bullets, knives, other sharp objects cause open head injuries, car accident, work place accidents, or sport accidents can cause an open traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury leading to damage of brain cells, neurons or nerves. The impact of an open head injury is usually severe leading to permanent brain damage or death.

What is Closed Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

Closed traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury occurs when there is a heavy impact on the head, which does not lead to breakage, penetration or fracture in the brain. The damage caused by an open head injury may affect all brain cells and tissues in the brain or just a one area of the brain. The impact of open head injury may be mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. Closed head injuries is a most common cause of death to children below 4 years and is also leading cause to physical disability and may cause temporary mental impairment.

Is Concussion a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

Concussion is a mild TBI or intracranial injury. In fact, it is known as a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). According to some experts, concussion is referred to as temporary brain impairment that can lead to physical disability, cognitive impairment, or emotional trauma. Concussion is characterized by disorientation, confusion, and loss of consciousness, which usually last from 30 minutes to hours, sometimes days. Closed traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury usually causes concussion.

Sometimes, people who have concussion (mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury) find it difficult to carry out their daily routine. They find that they are unable to relate well with people, cannot perform well at work and they are unable to relax. In this situation, rest is what they need to heal their brain. They should have enough rest and sleep so their brain will begin to function well again. If they ignore these signs and force themselves to do things, the symptoms will worsen.

Why is it Necessary to Keep Someone Awake for 24 hours immediately after the incident of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury Occurred?

When a person has suffered from a severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury, traditionally, people are taught to keep the person awake for some hours to ensure that the symptoms do not worsen.

The person may be allowed to sleep for a while, but should be woken up at intervals to ensure they are not worsening. If the person has been taken to the hospital, the doctor would have done an MRI or a CT scan to identify the injury and the bleeding part and stopped it. Otherwise, before the person is taken to the hospital, he/she can sleep but should be woken at intervals so the symptoms do not worsen.

What are the Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or Intracranial Injury?

In the US, the Centre for Disease Control and prevention have identified the major causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury to be 28% falls in children below 4 years and adults above 75 years and 20% motor accidents majorly in young adults between 15 to 19 years. Generally, a sudden powerful force against the head causes traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. The extent of the traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury caused varies depending on the nature and force of the impact.

The following events are common causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury:

  1. Car accidents can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. Car accidents as a result of collision with other vehicles and people crossing the road are common causes of brain injuries.
  2. Fall from a Height can cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. Falls from beds, ladders, steps, buildings, slips and from other ways are also common causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. Most falls are particular in children and older adults.
  3. Another cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury is sport accidents. Injuries incurred from sporting activities like; races, jumps, boxing, football, ice-skating, hockey, etc., are major causes of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury in young adults who are involved in sports.
  4. Injuries from Bomb blasts and Explosions cause traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. According to many researchers, pressure waves from explosions like bomb blasts penetrates into the brain and affects functional parts of the brain. These are common among military men at war fronts. How this damage is caused, is yet to be properly understood.
  5. Violence is another cause of traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury. Domestic violence, gunshots, child abuse, and shaken baby syndrome have been identified as common causes of TBI. Researchers revealed that violence causes up to 20% of all TBI.

Damages suffered by the human brain from these above factors include:

  • The traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury damage may affect only the part where the impact was felt.
  • Cells and tissues of the brain may tear when the brain spins and rotates due to a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury.
  • Sudden heavy blow from a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury can cause the brain to move around in the skull, which can lead to several damages to the brain at the same time.
  • Supply of oxygen to the brain may be hindered because of swelling, blood clothing, and bleeding in the brain or outside the brain.
  • When an object penetrates into the skull, it can cause very serious and permanent damage to brain cells, tissues, and blood vessels in the brain in a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or intracranial injury.
  • Explosive blasts can affect all parts of the brain and damage it severely.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: May 3, 2016

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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