Brain Injury & Diagnosis
Medical care usually begins when paramedics or emergency medical technicians arrive on the scene of an accident or when the brain injury (TBI) patient arrives at the emergency department of a hospital. Primary concerns include insuring proper oxygen supply, maintaining adequate blood flow, and controlling blood pressure. Approximately half of severely head-injured patients will need surgery to remove or repair hematomas or contusions. Patients may also need surgery to treat injuries in other parts of the body. These patients usually get out of the intensive care unit after surgery.
Two Types of Brain Injury:
Closed Injury: A closed injury occurs when the head suddenly and violently hits an object but the object does not break through the skull.
Penetrating Injury: A penetrating injury occurs when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue. (Brain Injury Association of America, 2008).
Brain Injury Health Interventions
A brain injury often provokes a profound emotional response not only in the patient but also in family members and friends. Denial, depression, a feeling of hopelessness, and fear are normal and usual reactions. No single response is either expected or unexpected. Through explanations and the plans for future may bring emotional relief as the patient and family focuses on the treatment ahead and the prospect of rehabilitation and recovery.
Neuropsychological impairments caused by brain injury may be characterized in terms of three functional systems: (1) intellect which is the information-handing aspect of behavior; (2) emotionally, which concerns feelings and motivations; and (3) control, which has to do with how behavior is expressed.
One method to evaluate Brain Injury is the Glasgow Coma Scoring System. (Brain Injury Association of America , 2008)
Social Issues & Barriers to Care
Most TBI patients have emotional or behavioral problems that fit under the broad category of psychiatric health. Family members of TBI patients often find that personality changes and behavioral problems are the most difficult disabilities to handle. Psychiatric problems that may surface include depression, apathy, anxiety, irritability, anger, paranoia, confusion, frustration, agitation, insomnia or other sleep problems, and mood swings. Problem behaviors may include aggression and violence, impulsivity, disinhibition, acting out, noncompliance, social inappropriateness, emotional outbursts, childish behavior, impaired self-control, impaired self awareness, inability to take responsibility or accept criticism, egocentrism, inappropriate sexual activity, and alcohol or drug abuse/addiction.
There are a handful of possible sources of financial assistance and/or compensation for people with brain injuries. Sources of financial assistance often depend on how the injury occurred. At work, an SUV rollover, caused by a third party, etc (Brain Injury Association of America , 2008)
Social Security Benefits
Brain Injury Resources
Brain Injury Association of Florida Sarah McCormick (352-335-6001) or
Shands & UF UPREACH Rehabilitation Center 352- 265-5491
Vocational Rehabilitation 352-955-3200
Brain Injury Facts
Every 23 seconds, one person in the U.S. sustains a Traumatic Brain Injury.
An estimated 5.3 Million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from Traumatic Brain Injury.
1.4 Million Americans sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury each year.
More than 50,000 people die every year as a result of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Half of all TBIs are due to transportation accidents involving automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. These accidents are the major cause of TBI in people under age 75.
For those 75 and older, falls cause the majority of TBIs.
Approximately 20% of TBIs are due to violence, such as firearm assaults and child abuse, and about 3% are due to sports injuries. Fully half of TBI incidents involve alcohol use.