A Traumatic Brain Injury is an injury to the brain caused by an impact to the head. The initial damage that occurs during the impact is called the primary injury. These primary injuries can affect the entire brain or just a specific area. As a result of the impact, a person’s brain knocks back and forth inside the skull causing bruising and bleeding. In the direct aftermath of the impact, a person will typically experience a certain set of symptoms as a result of their primary injury. These symptoms are typically confusion, memory loss, blurred vision, dizziness, or loss of consciousness. After the damage was done by the primary injury, the brain will begin to swell. This creates tension as the brain pushes out against the skull, thereby restricting the flow of oxygen to the brain. This effect often causes more damage than the original injury.
After a patient has been stabilized they can be discharged from the hospital. But this is just the beginning of the recovery process. If a patient still requires a ventilator to breathe, they will need to be transferred to a Long Term Acute (LTAC) Care Facility. Once the person recovering from a TBI can breathe easily without assistance, they can be transferred to a rehabilitation center like D’Amore for sub-acute, residential care. Here, the patient receives assistance with their daily activities and can be monitored by nursing staff to prevent any complications or additional injuries. In this level of care, the patient will work with psychiatrists and therapists to chart their recovery and ensure that they are in the best position possible to heal to the best of their abilities.
Recovery from a Traumatic Brain Injury requires hard work on behalf of the patient and their clinical staff. The rehabilitation team must partner with the patient in an effort to relearn common tasks and activities and learn to compensate for their lost abilities. A therapist can help patients to learn to dress, eat, bathe, use the restroom, and travel short distances. Therapists also monitor the patient’s ability to safely swallow food, drink fluids, and help with communication. A neuropsychologist helps patients relearn cognitive functions and develop skills to compensate for any loss of ability with their memory, cognitive ability, and emotional needs.