Traumatic Brain Injuries Essay

1148 words - 5 pages

Traumatic Brain InjuryPamela S. Long, RNUniversity of PhoenixBSN.06-05.BSN183C-NUR425June 24, 2003Brain TraumaTraumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States for people ages 1-34. Head injuries are among the most frequent and serious causes of neurological impairment or death for adolescents and young adults, ages 15 to 24, and the elderly, 65 years and older (CDC, 2003). Approximately 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually in the United States. That is at least one traumatic brain injury occurring every 21 seconds (Brain Injury Association of America, 2003). Major causes of traumatic brain injury are:transportation related incidents.bicycle riding, skate boarding, and skooter riding.sports and recreation.falls.violence.shaken-baby syndrome.(Brain Injury Association of America, 2003)Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined in terms of open and closed head injuries result in neurological impairments. A brain injury is complex; it can cause physical, cognitive, and social changes that affect an individual for a short period of time, or permanently. There are several types of brain injuries, some require little if any rehabilitation, while others require years of intense rehabilitation. In many cases recovery is a lifelong process of adjustments and accommodations for the individual and the family."TBI is often characterized according to severity, location of injury, and mechanism of injury"( Copstead and Banasik, 2000). The Glascow Coma Scale (GCS), on admission or 48 hours after asmission, is used to determine the severity of TBI. A GCS of less than 8 denotes sever injury with a poor prognosis; a moderate injury is characterized by a score of 9 to 12. A score greater than 12 is associated with little or no injury (Copstead and Banasik, 2000). The irony of a mild brain injury is that the repercussions can last a lifetime.TYPES OF BRAIN INJURIESConcussion:A concussion is an alteration of conscious awareness after head trauma. The collection of symptoms following a concussion is called the postconcussion syndrome (PCS), and include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, disorientation, forgetfulness, irritability, depression, mood swings, insomnia, and loss of libido. Most cases of PCS resolve after a few months, but approximately 20% of cases can involve longer term problems (braininjury.com, 2003).Contusion:A contusion is basically a bruise on the brain. The most common causes of contusion include a blow to the head from a motor vehicle crash, fall or assault. People at higher risk are those who have difficulty walking and fall often and those who are active in high impact contact sports. The signs and symptoms of a contusion are similar to those of a concussion. These symptoms may last for several hours to weeks, depending on the seriousness of the injury (braininjury.com, 2003).Coma:A coma is a period of unconsciousness that follows a serious head injury. The patient is incapable of conscious...

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