Traumatic Brain Injury Overview

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when a trauma causes damage to the brain. These traumas occur when there is a sudden, violent strike to the head, such as a fall, motor vehicle accident, gunshot, blow to the head, or sports injury. When these types of incidents occur, the brain may experience bruising, swelling, bleeding, or tearing of the brain tissue. When severe enough, TBI can result in long-term complications or death.

A traumatic brain injury can have severe ramifications on a person’s mental abilities. TBI can impair critical functions, including motor skills, speech, memory, mood, and behavior. No two brain injuries are the same, and therefore, symptoms of TBI vary greatly depending on the extent and location of the injury. Ranging from mild to severe, some symptoms can occur immediately after the injury, while others may take weeks to develop. Symptoms of mild TBI can include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Sleepiness
  • Behavior or mood changes
  • Sensitivity to light and sound

Furthermore, a person with severe traumatic brain injury may experience:

  • Seizures
  • Continuous nausea or vomiting
  • Slurred speech
  • Dilation of one or both pupils
  • Coma
  • Brain death

As with its symptoms, treatment of TBI is also dependent upon the specific details of the injury. While patients with a mild brain injury often only need rest and pain relievers, more extensive treatment is required for those with moderate or severe TBI. These treatments can include surgery, medications to limit secondary damage, and different therapies to promote rehabilitation and improve the affected person’s quality of life.

Tampa General Hospital has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as High Performing in Neurology & Neurosurgery, and is highly qualified to treat patients with traumatic brain injury of any severity.