Brain injuries are caused by violent jolts or blows to the head of the body. Objects that penetrate the brain tissues like bullet or shattered skull can also cause brain injuries. Mild brain injuries may temporarily affect the brain cells while more severe brain injuries may result in torn tissues, bruising, bleeding or any other physical brain damage. These types of injuries can lead to terminal complications or even death.
There are many hospitals in United States that offer treatments for brain injuries. However, onehas to travel to these facilities. It should be noted that insurance plans cover medical expenses but not travel costs. This means that you need to plan well so that travel expenses are put at the lowest.
If you already know the health facility from which you want to seek medical treatment for brain injuries, you can go ahead and plan for your travel. Alternatively, you can check our list of medical facilities in the US that offer care for the injuries. In case you are not able to meet your travel expenses, you can check our directory of charitable organizations that help in arranging cost-free travel for medical services.
About Brain Injuries
Brain injuries are usually caused by blows or other traumatic elements to the head or body. The force of impact and the nature of injury, together with other factors determine the degree of damage on the brains. The most common elements that can cause traumatic injuries to the brain may include the following;
- Falls from ladders, beds,and stairs and from many other heights are the most common causes of brain injuries in young children and older adults.
- Vehicle collisions and accidents and pedestrians involved.
- These involve child abuse, domestic violence, gunshots, shaken baby syndrome among others.
- Sports injuries. These are injuries caused in the process of participating in sports like boxing, soccer and extreme sports among others. This is especially so in youths.
- Explosive blasts and other combat exercises especially among the military personnel.
Symptoms of Brain Injuries
Brain injuries have both physical and psychological effects. Signs and symptoms may appear right after the injury while others may manifest days or weeks later.
Mild brain injury signs and symptoms may include the following;
- Physical symptoms
- Brief loss of consciousness
- Dazed, confused or disoriented states
- Dizziness or loss of balance
- Fatigue or drowsiness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sleeping difficulties
- Sleeping excessively
- Speech problems
- Sensory symptoms
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Blurred vision
- Changes in the ability to smell
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Mental or cognitive symptoms
- Feeling depressed or anxious
- Memory or concentration problems
- Mood changes or mood swings
Moderate to severe brain injuries may include any of the signs and symptoms manifested in the mild injuries. Additionally, the following signs and symptoms may manifest within a few hours or days following an injury to the head;
- Physical symptoms
- Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
- Constant headache or headache that gets worse
- Convulsions or seizures
- Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
- Frequent vomiting or nausea
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Loss of coordination
- Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
- Mental or cognitive symptoms
- Agitation, combativeness or other unusual tendencies
- Coma and other disorders of consciousness
- Deep confusion
- Slurred speech
Infants and young children suffering from brain injuries are not able to express by way of communication about their headaches, confusion, sensory difficulties, and such symptoms. However, you may observe the following in such suffering kids;
- Change in eating or nursing habits
- Change in sleeping habits
- Change in the ability to pay attention
- Endless crying and inability to be consoled
- Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities
- Sad or depressed mood
- Unusual or easy irritability
Where to Go for Brain Injuries Treatment
There are many health facilities in the US where patients can seek treatments for brain injuries. These hospitals have the equipments, personnel and medications needed to provide the best healthcare treatments possible. One of the best hospitals where patients can get specialized treatment and management of these injuries include;
- Children’s Hospital Colorado
If you believe your child or young adult has suffered brain injury, the best hospital for this would be Children’s Hospital Colorado. Every member of the hospital’s large, multidisciplinary healthcare team is involved in the treatment and care of thepatient by contributing unique areas of medical expertise. These experts, as a group, will work determinedly to assistthe patient and family through the recovery process both during the hospital time and after in the Outpatient Brain Injury Clinic.
Treatment of Brain Injuries
In order for the doctor to provide the best treatment options for brain injuries, proper diagnosis must be done. Doctors need to do this quickly because the consequences of brain injuries can get worse very fast. The following diagnosis can be done;
- Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a 15-point scale to assess the severity of the injury by looking at the patient’s capacity to follow directions, move limbs and eyes. Speech coherence also offers crucial clues. The scores are from three to 15 with higher scores meaning less serious injuries.
- Information about the sustained injury by a witness
- Imaging tests. These include CT scan, MRI and intracranial pressure monitor.
Treatment options for brain injuries depend on the seriousness of the injuries sustained. Mild brain injuries need no treatment apart from pain relievers to treat headache and rest. Patients with mild brain injury however require close monitoring by a specialist. For moderate and severe brain injuries, the following treatment options may be administered by the doctor;
- Immediate emergency care. This is to make sure that the patient has enough blood and oxygen supply, the right blood pressure and does not suffer further head or neck injuries. The doctor will also make sure that the patient does not suffer from secondary damage due to bleeding, inflammation or reduced oxygen to the brain.
- These are aimed at reducing secondary damage following an injury. These are medications such as diuretics, anti-seizure drugs and coma-inducing drugs.
- This can be used to remove clotted blood (hematomas), repairing the skull fractures, stop internal brain bleeding or opening a window in the skull (to drain accumulated cerebral spinal fluid or to provide more space for swollen tissue).
Risks Associated with Brain Injuries
There are several risks associated with brain injuries. These include the following;
- Adults 60 years and older
- Children, particularly the newborns and up to four years
- Males in any age group
- Young adults, particularly between the ages of 15 and 24 years
To reduce the risks of brain injuries, always use seat belts, child safety seat and airbags in a motor vehicle. Avoid driving under influence of alcohol or prescription medications. Use helmets when riding and wear head protection when playing contact and other risky sports. In order to prevent falls, every effort should be made.
Who Can Go for Brain Injuries Treatment
There are circumstances that can cause an individual to seek emergency attention by a specialist for brain injuries. These include people that have suffered blows to the head or body that calls for attention or causes behavioral changes. Others include those involved in a fall, motor accidents or any other circumstance that can occasion traumatic effects on the head or body. Always see or take your child to the doctor if you notice any signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury.