How Are Brain Injuries Treated?

How Are Brain Injuries Treated?
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Any type of injury can be serious, but injuries to specific parts of your body almost always have a greater impact. In particular, any damage to your brain and brain stem is incredibly harmful.

The main reason for this is that your brain stem is a hub for communications throughout your body. It receives instructions from the other portions of your brain and transmits them to the rest of your body.

With a damaged brain or brain stem, you’ll face serious complications that can impair all aspects of functioning. If you ever sustain a brain injury, you must seek prompt treatment to minimize the impact and reduce further damage.

The treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your injury. To give you an idea of what to expect, we’ll go over the standard treatments for brain injuries below.  

Stabilization

The first step in treating any brain injury is stabilizing the patient.

This is important for two different reasons.

First, it prevents a brain injury victim from exacerbating their injury. This effectively slows it down and gives doctors time to address the injury. This is possible because stabilization keeps blood pressure stable and ensures that the brain is receiving adequate blood and oxygen.

This leads to the second point. When a patient is stabilized, the extent of the injury can be assessed. This will allow a doctor to determine what course of treatment will work best.

From here, the treatment will be based on the severity of the injury. Minor wounds may not require any treatment beyond rest while serious injuries will necessitate a hands-on approach.

Considering this, stabilization is a key first step to pausing the injury and gaining time to assess it.

Medication

Should a victim face lingering symptoms of a traumatic brain injury, then medication may be used.

It’s important to understand that medication is not used to cure the injury. Instead, it is used to alleviate the side effects caused by a traumatic brain injury.

Brain injuries can result in many different side effects that range from excessive anxiety to muscle spasms or a poor attention span. While these ailments are extremely frustrating, most conditions can be alleviated with medication.

The other side of this is that brain injury victims may be prescribed medication to prevent further damage. Brain injuries can increase the likelihood of a seizure or blood clots, but this can be managed with the right medication.

As you can see, medication plays a big role in treating brain injuries. Most victims will likely receive medication to help their pain and other symptoms.

Surgical Procedures

For serious brain injuries, surgical procedures may be required to repair damaged tissue.

Surgery is generally required when an injury poses an imminent threat. Examples of this include a fractured skull, a bleeding (or clotted) brain, and excessive pressure on the brain.

Surgeries to fix these situations would involve removing fractured skull pieces and setting the skull, removing a blood clot and/or repairing a blood vessel, and making a hole in the brain to insert a shunt.

Not all brain injuries require surgery, but life-threatening wounds require immediate action. This is another reason why any brain injury demands prompt treatment to rule out the risk of a potentially deadly condition.

With this in mind, surgery is an invaluable step in the treatment process if severe injuries are present because it directly translates to saved lives. 

Rehabilitation Therapy

The final step in recovering from a brain injury is rehabilitation therapy.

Brain injuries are so impactful because they affect the ability to function. What a victim struggles with will depend on what part of their brain is impacted.

This will determine what type of rehabilitation therapy will suit them best. Common options include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and psychiatric assistance.

Rehabilitation is crucial because it affects a victim’s ability to regain function and their enjoyment in life. When they’re able to relearn lost skills, it will translate to a better outlook and greater odds of survival.

Rehabilitation is a big component of treatment for almost any brain injury. Even mild injuries like concussions can benefit from visiting with a psychiatrist to ensure no psychological effects are experienced.

Closing Thoughts

Brain injuries must be addressed quickly because they often result in permanent damage and can easily be exacerbated. A head injury of any severity is a good reason for treatment because even minor wounds can cause problems.

Brain injuries are typically treated in a few different ways. This begins with stabilizing the patient, using medication if appropriate, proceeding with surgery if required, and enrolling the victim in rehabilitation therapy.

While a brain injury may have long-last ramifications, they can be persevered through with enough dedication and effort. Also, remember that the quicker a victim seeks treatment, the better their prognosis will be!


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