Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can occur as a result of a car accident. While mild injuries don’t often require treatment, as they tend to heal on their own, more serious injuries usually require medical care. Depending on the area of the brain damaged and the severity of the injury, more advanced treatments may be required. The Mayo Clinic offers the following information.
Before treatment can begin, doctors must first diagnose the TBI. This usually entails imaging tests, as well as the application of the Glasgow Coma Scale. This test involves basic movements and responses, which are scored on a 15-point scale. The lower the score, the more serious the injuries are considered. Loss of consciousness can also indicate a severe injury, especially if a person was unconscious for a long period of time.
Along with emergency medical care, medications may also be provided to the person with TBI. Different medications will be used to decrease swelling and fluid retention in the brain, prevent seizures, and even induce a coma. Patients are often placed into a coma by medical staff when swelling in the brain is extremely severe, which prevents blood vessels from being damaged by the lack of oxygen flowing into the brain.
While surgery can also be used to address the more immediate effects of TBI, rehabilitation may be necessary for a person to restore bodily function. Physical rehabilitation building strength, while occupational therapy helps a person perform basic tasks and chores. A person may also need to undergo speech therapy if their ability to communicate has been compromised. While some people make a full recovery from TBI, others will only be able to restore some of their functions. In severe cases, a person may be permanently disabled by the injuries.