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Traumatic Brain Injury is a health issue that affects the brain of a person. Brain injury can be caused by a violent blow to the head. Also, when an object penetrates the brain tissue can also lead to brain injury. Brain injury can be classified as either severe to mild. Mild brain injury affects the brain cells temporarily while severe brain injury leads to torn tissues, bruising, bleeding, as well as other physical injuries to the brain. Brain injury can lead to long-term compilations or even death. This paper discusses the brain injury affects people and how it can be healed, cured or managed.
Brain injury can alter the consciousness of an individual. Both mild and severe brain injury can lead to prolonged or permanent alterations in an individual’s state of awareness, responsiveness and consciousness. Depending on the severity of the injury one can face various states of consciousness. The first state is a coma. An individual in a coma is not aware of anything and cannot respond to any stimulus. Widespread damage in all brain parts can cause the state of coma. After a coma, one can enter the vegetative state. In this state, an individual is not aware of the surroundings. This state can become permanent, but in most cases, the affected people progress to a less conscious state (Koehler, et al. 81). Minimally conscious state happens due to severely altered consciousness, but it has some signs of awareness of the surrounding environment. The minimally conscious state is sometimes a transitional a vegetative or coma state to a better recovery. Another consciousness effect of brain injury is brain death. During this condition, there isn’t any activity in the brain and the brainstem. In this condition, if the breathing devices are removed, breathing will cease and eventually it will lead to heart failure. Also, the brain injury causes intellectual problems. People who have suffered brain injury experience changes in their cognitive (thinking) skills. A person who has undergone physical damage to the brain may find it challenging to focus, and they may take a longer time to process their thoughts (Davies, et al. 22-33). This is because traumatic brain damage causes challenges to many skills such as cognitive problems and executive functioning problems. Cognitive problems caused by brain injury;
- Concentration or attention
Executive problems caused by brain damage are challenges in;
- Starting of tasks
- Completion of tasks.
Brain injury can cause physical complications. Some of the physical complications caused by brain injury are seizures, hydrocephalus, infections, headaches, damage to blood vessel and vertigo. Seizures occur in the early years or stages after the injury. When seizures reoccur, they are referred to as post-traumatic epilepsy. Hydrocephalus is the buildup of fluid in the brain. Due to brain injury, the cerebrospinal fluid can build up in the cerebral ventricles leading to traumatic brain injuries. Hydrocephalus leads to increased pressure and swelling of the brain. Penetrating wounds or skull fractures tear meninges that protect the brain. This enables the bacteria to go into the brain and result in infections (Ownsworth 98). If not treated, the infections can spread to the nervous system. Brain injury can also lead to damage of small or even large vessels of blood in the brain. This can result in blood clots in the brain or stroke. Physical complications of the brain can cause headaches and vertigo. If these symptoms of physical brain damage occur and linger for weeks, it is known as persistent post-concussive symptoms, while if these symptoms last for a longer time the state is known as post-concussion syndrome. Brain injuries, especially at the base of the skull can lead to damage the cranial nerves. Injuries to cranial nerves lead to paralysis of the facial muscles and loss of sensation in the face. Also, it leads problems of swallowing, ringing in the ear, loss of hearing, vision, sense of smell, and dizziness. Damage to the brain cells leads to weakening of nerves that coordinate other body activities (Minich 34). Also, it leads to loss of muscle strength and people affected cannot move well despite how hard they try. It also makes one feel fatigued. Mild damage to the brain makes can lead to dysfunction of the nervous system. These problems can be treated by exposing the patient to physiotherapy sessions.
Treatment of consciousness of a person who has suffered a brain injury. Treatment of consciousness of a person varies, and it depends on the causes of coma. This is because an individual in this state cannot express him/herself. Therefore, doctors depend on the information from friends and family. Once in the hospital, the doctor checks the movements and reflexes of the affected person, their pupil size and response to stimuli. Also, the doctors will look at the breathing patterns of the patient. Lab tests can be conducted on blood samples to check for electrolytes, poisoning by carbon monoxide, alcohol or drug abuse and liver and kidney function. Brain scans can also be conducted to establish the cause and extent of the brain injury (Koehler, et al. 54-59). Consciousness is managed by checking the patient’s airway and, assisting them to maintain respiration (breathing) and blood circulation. This includes the use of breathing assistance and blood transfusions. Antibiotics and glucose can be administered intravenously. In some instances, coma can be reversed, but if the patient had suffered severe brain injury, they may suffer permanent brain disabilities or never regain consciousness, making the person to enter to a vegetative state and later become brain dead (Cifu and Caruso 108).
To treat physical damage to the brain many treatments plans are used. First, the doctor needs to establish the extent of brain damage. This can be done through physical examination to the patient. Also, the scan can be conducted in the brain to see the areas damaged. Once the extent of the damage is established and depending on the depth of damage, the doctor can use various methods to help the patient heal. In case of brain fracture, emergency surgery can be conducted to remove haematoma which would help in reducing the pressure the tissues of the brain. Surgery can also be done to eliminate the part of the skull that has been fractured to relieve the patient from excess pressure and lastly, it can be conducted to repair fractured skull or removal the fragments of a fractured skull from the brain tissues (Chopra 66). To gain full recovery of physical damage to the brain physiotherapy treatment is applied by the doctors till the patient recovers fully. After the patient is discharged from the hospital, physiotherapy sessions should continue till they fully recover. Physiotherapy helps the patient to regain as many functions and movements as possible. This treatment focus on helping the patient to regain walking, using the affected body, sitting and standing balance, reduce pain or stiffness that may have been caused by the damage to the brain. According to Calderwood (45), physiotherapy can help the patient improve walking and balance, increase the ability to move in bed, stand, sit and roll, lower the level of muscle spasms, increase their levels of energy among others. During the treatment plan of brain damage, the doctors lead the patient through progressive programs to help the patient recover from the ailment completely.