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Traumatic Brain Injury - Initial Treatment and Care

Robert Karns

A blow or jolt to the head or even abrupt and forceful movement of the head without striking the head can disrupt the normal function of the brain causing a concussion which is a traumatic brain injury. This can occur even without a loss of consciousness. When this occurs it is urgent to initially seek immediate medical care either at the local hospital emergency department or primary care physician. When suffering a traumatic brain injury it is urgent to receive this initial medical care immediately in order to determine the extent of the injury and whether or not imaging such as a CT scan or MRI is necessitated.

The next step is to follow the advice of the initial medical treatment including any referrals to specialists such as a neurologist and any medication that is prescribed. Symptoms of the traumatic brain injury can include the following:

  • Acting confused, feeling spacey and not thinking straight
  • Being drowsy or hard to wake up
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea
  • Generally feeling out of sorts including confusion and changes in alertness
  • There may also be other physical symptoms including muscle weakness or problems with balance

Initial treatment and care of the traumatic brain injury, in addition to medical treatment, should include the following:

  • Get plenty of rest including sleeping at night and rest during the day
  • Modification of normal activities to cut back on normal activities increasing gradually
  • Consult with a physician on when it is possible to return to driving a car, riding a bike and doing forms of exercise
  • Consult a physician on when it is possible to return to work or school
  • When returning to work or school the employer or teacher must be made aware of the traumatic brain injury, activities should be lessened and only gradually increased
  • Write things down in order that they are not forgotten
  • Take any prescribed medication and get sufficient nutrition
  • Don't drink alcoholic beverages until the physician indicates it is safe to do so

Initial treatment and care of the traumatic brain injury must include rest, modification of activities and pacing of activities with only very gradual increasing.

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