A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can be open or closed. A closed TBI occurs when the skull is not penetrated by an outside object, but the brain moves inside the skull.
A penetrating TBI includes movement of the brain and an opening of the skull.
What Causes a Traumatic Brain Injury?
TBI can be caused by a variety of events, including assaults, sports injuries, exposure to explosions, and car accidents.
The severity of a TBI depends on the concussive power of the event, the amount of bleeding around the brain, and the odds of recovery. During a TBI event, the brain moves inside the skull and synaptic connections are broken.
These connections may or may not be able to be rebuilt, depending on the severity of the injury and whether the patient has the opportunity for proper healing.
Difference Between a Concussion and a Traumatic Brain Injury
Both a concussion and TBI are serious medical issues that should receive treatment and will require healing time. Concussions can lead to serious effects if not treated.
However, while a concussed person may suffer confusion or loss of time after the event, a TBI sufferer will lose consciousness, sometimes for a long period of time.
A concussion is a milder form of Traumatic Brain Injury, but it is still important to treat. Whether the sufferer loses consciousness or not, any change in mood, lack of ability to remember the event or the time surrounding it, nausea, or headache should be taken seriously.
Treating a Traumatic Brain Injury
Anytime someone loses consciousness after a jolt to his or her head, medical attention must be sought immediately.
Even if there’s no break in the skull bone, any blow to the body that causes the head to move violently back and forth can literally cause the brain to move around inside the skull, shattering neural connections and putting the sufferer at risk for bleeding or swelling.
During recovery, it’s crucial that the brain be allowed to rest and not be jarred again while connections are recreated. Additional jarring causes new damage, and over time, these issues may become irreparable.
Head trauma can have a lasting impact for the sufferer. Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety can result from an untreated TBI.
Sufferers may also lose the ability to concentrate and focus over time, making it nearly impossible to hold down a job or even read a book.
Any blow to the head that causes unconsciousness must be treated as a very serious injury.