Initial Treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain injury results from an external force such as a blow or a jolt or a penetration. It causes damage to the brain and disrupts the brain function.

Head injury is unpredictable and damage to the brain can be critical since the brain is a very delicate part the human body. The consequences of a head injury can alter the patient’s life for a long period of time or worse, forever. The patient’s condition can also change in a matter of seconds.

A traumatic brain injury basically affects the survivor’s personality including the way he feels, react, and think. According to studies, there are no two brain injuries that are exactly the same. The effects of a brain injury is very complex. It varies depending on the severity and the condition of the patient before the injury happened and the kind of injury obtained.  Factors like the cause and location of injury can also affect the person’s entire condition.

Brain Injury Initial Treatment

The initial treatment immediately begins upon the patient’s arrival in the hospital. There are protocols and a team of medical professionals handle emergency head injury cases.

It is led by a trauma surgeon. He mainly acts as the leader of the team and directs orders. If the patient needs resuscitation, the trauma staff will initiate the procedure. This includes monitoring the patients’ vital body function. They are also the one responsible for responding to potential life threatening changes. They coordinate care with the other personnel in the hospital.

Surgery

In most cases, the patient needs surgery. Besides the trauma surgeon, the team can also include a neurosurgeon. He is a physician responsible for brain and spinal cord surgery. An orthopedic surgeon, a physician who caters broken bones like fractures this includes the spinal column or a general surgeon are also called to assist in the surgery.

Assessment

During the initial phase of treatment, the physician assess the victim’s response to treatment while the trauma nurse provides resuscitation, supportive care and stabilization. The nurses are responsible for communicating information between the hospital staff and the patient’s family.

Critical Care

Once the patient is stabilized, he can now be transferred to a specialized trauma unit. If a hospital doesn’t have a trauma unit, the patient is usually placed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The critical nursing care staff is responsible for assessing, monitoring and interpreting vital physiological and body functions of the patient. He is also responsible for notifying the physician of any changes in the brain injury patient. He provides regular assessment and relay information to the family. He also monitors signs of infection as this is very crucial especially if there are open wounds around the brain.

Usually a respiratory therapist is assigned to monitor the patient’s breathing. This includes blood gas results. He  listens to the patient’s lungs and he helps in resuscitating the patient after a brain injury.

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