Here’s what you need to know about traumatic brain injury
Brain injury is a complex disease that is unique to each patient and requires a multi-pronged approach to recovery that includes the involvement of the patient’s support system.
“I always remind my colleagues that if you’ve seen brain injury, you’ve seen brain injury,” says Thomas Franz, MD, chief physiatrist of the traumatic brain injury rehabilitation program at Allegheny Health Network (AHN), based in Allegheny. Valley Hospital.
Dr Franz has treated patients with head trauma for over 30 years and explains the complexities, life impacts and rehabilitation options.
What are the most common symptoms of traumatic brain injury?
The problems experienced by patients with brain damage range from mild to debilitating and can include dizziness and problems with balance, migraines and headaches, blurred or reduced vision, loss of cognition and memory, and loss of consciousness. negative behaviors.
How is the severity of brain damage determined?
The main factor contributing to TBI is the way the brain is injured. The higher the energy and impact, the higher the likelihood of serious injury. In addition, the way the force is applied plays an important role.
For example, if someone is hit at a certain angle and the brain is twisted in a different way than someone with a direct impact, the damage will be different.
Also, the amount of protection affects brain damage. If the person was in a vehicle with airbags and a lot of metal designed to absorb shock, they are better protected than someone struck by a vehicle on foot or on a motorcycle. The patient’s physical condition, age, and other variables also help determine the severity of the injury and how well one can ultimately recover.
Is it common for brain damage to be ruled out or misdiagnosed?
We see a lot of patients with concussions or brain injuries, for which they were not admitted to the hospital from the start. Depending on the studies you are looking at, 85% to 90% of patients with a single concussion will often recover after a period of days or weeks with limited intervention.
For patients with persistent migraines, balance disorders, or cognitive problems, medical providers don’t always make the connection between their symptoms and a previous concussion. If you think you have a TBI, please contact the Brain Injury Resource Line (1-800-444-6443) or call AHN at 412-359-6939.
What is unique about AHN’s head injury rehabilitation program at Allegheny Valley Hospital?
Allegheny Valley Hospital is home to AHN’s TBI Rehabilitation Program, a 17-bed unit. The dedicated staff of hospitalists, rehabilitation physicians, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, social workers, dietitians, registered nurses and assistants who provide one-on-one therapy to help patients achieve the best possible results after TBI. The full team takes care of brain damage from the moment a person enters the emergency department until they leave rehabilitation, and it is this team of specialists and the continuity of care that sets them apart.