According to the National Institute for Health, a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is any injury to the brain that occurs suddenly. A TBI can occur when the head violently impacts an object, such as someone’s head hitting the steering wheel or dashboard in a auto accident. Any head injury that does not penetrate the skull is referred to as a closed head injury.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for a TBI. Once a person has sustained a closed head injury, there is a window of time in which you can minimize the damage. The sooner you seek treatment, the better your chances for a less significant injury. The largest concerns for a patient with a closed head injury include maintaining proper oxygen and blood supplies to the brain, among others. An x-ray or a computed tomography (CT) scan may also be used to properly diagnose the extent of the injury. Surgery may be required to fix any damage to the brain.
Signs of a TBI include, but are not limited to:
- Memory Difficulty
- Behavioral/Mood Changes
- Nausea, Vomiting
- Slurred Speech
- Pupil Dilation
- Inability To Wake From Sleep
A TBI can occur anytime there is an injury to the head. It can even be caused when the brain tissue impacts the skull, causing a bruise or other trauma. According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly half of all TBI’s are caused by auto, motorcycle, and bicycle accidents. Additionally, more than half of all TBI’s in elderly people are the result of a fall.
Memory problems related to a TBI include problems with both short term and long term memory. Short term memory problems relate to a decreased ability to recall recent events or conversations. Long term memory complications relate to a difficulty in storing information for later use, such as remembering the details of a business presentation after preparing for a few days. Amnesia can also result from a TBI, causing a loss of memories that either occurred before or after the accident.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and have recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident or have fallen and hit your head, you should seek medical attention immediately.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Head and Brain Injury.