An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Posted On Oct 21, 2022

Dr. Raghunathan Natrajan

Consultant - Neurosurgery

Manipal Hospitals-Salem

Neurosurgery hospital in Salem

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), also known as Head Injury or Intracranial Injury, occurs when the head, scalp, or brain receives a forceful blow. A variety of events are associated with Head injuries including slips, accidents, gunshots, or physical assaults that result in concussions, fractured skulls, or even wounds to the scalp. It is still the leading cause of death and disability. The survivors of severe Traumatic brain injury incur temporary or permanent disability across physical, functional, cognitive, and psychosocial domains. TBI affects approximately 2 million people in India alone each year, with 100,000 patients succumbing to death. Road traffic collisions cause the highest cases of TBI and are responsible for 60% of all traumatic brain injuries.

Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBI is divided into three categories based on the severity of the injury: mild, moderate, and severe.  

  • With mild trauma, the brain cells are temporarily damaged. Loss of consciousness, amnesia, and confusion are common in this condition. 

  • Patients with Moderate head injury sustain intracranial hemorrhage, and may or may not require emergent surgical management.  

  • Severe traumatic brain injury leads to comatose condition, patients require ventilator support and urgent neurosurgical intervention. Immediate medical attention and treatment are recommended for any suspected injuries to rule out long-term complications or even death.

Symptoms and Signs of Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBI can cause serious physical and psychological effects. While some signs or symptoms may appear early following the traumatic event, others may take days or weeks to appear.

The most frequent symptoms of a head injury seen among patients are as follows:

  • Vomiting

  • Confusion

  • Seizures

  • Breathlessness

  • Unconsciousness

  • Balance & Speech difficulties

  • Light-headedness & headaches

  • Bleeding from nose/ears

  • Abnormal eye movements

Anyone experiencing these signs and symptoms needs to see a neurosurgeon in Salem at the earliest. Manipal Hospitals Salem has one of the best neurosurgery departments in Salem, Tamil Nadu. You can book an appointment with a Consultant – Neurosurgery at Manipal Hospitals Salem, in case of any emergency related to TBI. 

Managing Patients with Traumatic Brain Injury

In the case of any head injury, the primary injury occurs immediately after an impact that shifts the brain as a result of direct impact, quick acceleration, deceleration, or penetration. Axonal injuries, hematomas, or contusions may result from primary injury. Changes that take place after the primary injury are secondary injuries that cause systemic hypotension, hypoxia, and an increase in ICP.

Better pre-hospital care and improved critical care for trauma reduce mortality rates in head trauma patients and provide them with a long-term favorable outcome and improved quality of life. To control the damage caused by the primary impact, a patient with a suspected head injury must be transported to a tertiary care hospital. The paramedic team also plays an important role in minimizing the impact before the patient arrives at the hospital. As a result, they must have sufficient knowledge to identify symptoms while evaluating the patient and act swiftly to contain the damage. Resuscitation procedures include spine immobilization, maintenance of adequate airway, breathing, and circulation, and management of increased intracranial pressure. 

On arrival at the hospital, primary and secondary surveys are performed on the patient to determine the severity of the trauma. These include general, neurological, Orthopedic, and solid organ injuries. To look for any potential head trauma, the patient undergoes a CT scan. Typically, an MRI is only carried out if there is a clinic-radiological discrepancy or if patients with a prolonged comatose condition. The patient receives additional treatment in accordance with the imaging results, typically consisting of surgery to remove blood clots, repair skull fractures, and relieve intracranial pressure followed by rehabilitation to help them return to normal life sooner. In case of mild trauma, a short course of oral anticonvulsants, analgesics, and bed rest are the only treatments needed. Visit Manipal Hospitals, the best neurosurgery hospital in Salem for the best treatment.

TBI outcomes have improved over the past few decades as a result of advanced and timely treatment approaches and increased use of preventive measures like wearing recreational helmets and seat belt adherence, newer, safer car protection accessories, etc. However, to reduce the mortality rate further, we must increase public awareness, strict enforcement of Traffic rules, implement pedestrian safety mechanisms, improvement of prehospital care, and deployment of well-equipped /robust Ambulance services.

If you are looking for the best hospital for neurosurgery in Salem, Tamil Nadu; then visit Manipal Hospitals Salem.

Dr. Raghunathan Natrajan

Consultant - Neurosurgery

Manipal Hospitals, Salem

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