Traumatic Brain Injury

Topics: Traumatic brain injury, Concussion, Glasgow Coma Scale Pages: 4 (1251 words) Published: December 5, 2007
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injury, also called acquired brain injury or simply head injury, is a result of a sudden blow to the head when an external force is applied causing a disruption of the physiological stability of the brain locally. It can also occur when an object pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue and when elevation in the intracranial pressure occurs and potentially dramatic changes in the blood flow within and to the brain. These changes may produce a diminished or altered state of consciousness. Traumatic brain injury is a nondegenerative, noncongential defect in which there may be permanent or temporary impairments to cognition, physical, and psychosocial functions.

Various terms are used to describe the brain injuries that occur when a mechanical force is applied either directly or indirectly to the brain. A force produced by a blow to the head is a direct injury, whereas a force applied to another body part with a rebound effect to the brain is an indirect injury. (Workman, 2006) Brain injuries can manifest itself as clinically from concussion to coma and death.

Primary brain damage results from the physical stress within the brain and is caused by open or closed trauma. An open head injury occurs when there is a skull fracture or when the skull is pierced. There is an exposure to the outside environment. A closed head injury is the result of blunt trauma, where the integrity of the skull is not damaged, and is the most serious, and depends on the degree and mechanism of injury.

Fractures associated with open head injuries are linear, depressed, open and comminuted. A unique fracture is the basilar skull fracture, which occurs at the base of the skull and usually extends into the anterior, middle or posterior fossa. Leakage of cerebral spinal fluid can occur from the nose or ear. This type of fracture is of significance because it can potentiate into a hemorrhage caused by damage to the internal...
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