What Is The Most Severe Complication Of Traumatic Brain Injury?

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) occurs because of sudden damage to the brain. The American Association of Neurological Surgery explains that TBI “is a disruption in the normal functioning of the brain that can be caused by a blow, bump or jolt to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.” When the brain collides with the inside of the skull it can cause the brain to bleed, bruising of the brain, and/ or tearing of nerve fibers. In situations where the skull is broken, a piece of the skull could penetrate brain tissue. The symptoms and complications associated with TBI vary significantly, as they depend on the type of injury, the severity of the injury, as well as the area of the brain that was injured. For some, a TBI may only affect the exact location on the brain where the injury occurred, while for others a TBI could also affect surrounding tissues and cause damage to one’s brain in other areas apart from the initial site. 

There are a variety of possible complications that can occur because of a TBI, but the most severe complication of TBI is death. Experts assert that intracranial hematoma, also known as a brain bleed, is the most common cause of death and clinical deterioration after TBI. An intracranial hematoma forms when a head injury causes blood to accumulate within the skull. It can occur within the brain tissue or beneath the skull, which in turn presses on the brain. For those that survive a TBI, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), explains that “moderate to severe traumatic brain injury is a lifelong condition.” The CDC goes on to explain that nearly fifty percent of people with TBI will experience further decline in their daily lives. Chronic disease management can be invaluable to one’s recovery process and is often essential in helping to improve the quality of life for an individual living with the residual effects of a traumatic brain injury. 

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