The brain is probably the most complex organ of the body. It performs multiple tasks at the same time. So, if it sustains an injury, it can have a serious impact on every sphere of your life. Still, injury to the brain is quite common, ranging from mild to severe and no foolproof method has been invented to eliminate it completely.
Sometimes, the brain can become injured from a physical trauma like a sports activity, a car crash or in the event of physical violence. These are called traumatic brain injuries or TBI. Apart from this, there is another class of injuries which are described as acquired. Here, it is injured due to some force other than blunt physical trauma. The examples include lack of supply of air to the brain, stroke, heart attack, meningitis, AIDS, etc. Babies sometimes sustain injuries to the brain at the time of birth.
The results of the brain injury depend on the severity and the area that has been affected. Cognitive abilities like memory, attention, concentration, etc may be impaired. The person may develop difficulty with communication or other sensory functions. If the pituitary gland has been affected, this will have an adverse effect on the hormones and the endocrine system. One of the most common consequences is difficulty in executive functions. Bladder and bowel movement or regulation of body temperature, etc may be affected as well. Finally, there may be subtle changes in emotions and behaviour of the person which becomes prominent as time passes.
Brain injury treatment depends on the type and extent of the wound. Immediately after the hurt has been sustained, the foremost tasks are to stabilize the head and the neck, check that all the airways and clear and administer CPR if necessary. During the brain injury treatment, efforts should be made to arrest bleeding while broken bones are held in place by splints. A number of observations are made to determine the severity. These include breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, level of oxygen in blood, size of the pupils, temperature and the degree of movement and control of the limbs.
If the damage is severe, a number of different brain injury treatment options are available. If a haemorrhage is noted in the brain or a blood clot or haematoma forms on the wall of the brain and create pressure upon it, emergency surgery is necessary. These problems are identified with the help of a CT scan. In certain cases, neurosurgery or craniotomy may be required. In case of fracture of the skull, antibiotics are prescribed by the doctor or surgeon. Unless the skull has become depressed, no surgery is required and it heals by itself. Last, but not the least; long term therapeutic care is necessary in case of behavioural changes caused by an injury to the brain.
Brain injury – The causes, consequences and treatments