Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults

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Page count 3
Word count 861
Read time 4 min
Topic Health
Type Research Paper
Language 🇺🇸 US

Introduction

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a life-threatening condition that occurs as a result of exerting external force on the brain (Kumar et al., 2009). Although TBI is common among young adults, it also affects children and mature adults. According to Kumar et al. (2009), TBI can be classified based on the extent of the damage. In this case, there is a closed head injury in which the dura mater is not crossed by the force causing the damage (Kumar et al., 2009). On the other hand, there is a penetrating head injury in which the dura mater is crossed by the force responsible for the damage (Kumar et al., 2009). It is worth noting that TBI can affect other parts of the head without damaging the brain.

Complications of TBI

TBI victims often experience loss of consciousness. Clinicians use the Glasgow coma scale to ascertain the extent of damage in unconscious TBI patients. In this regard, total scores range from 3 to 15 depending on the patient’s responses to some stimuli. Unconscious patients can be classified in the states of stupor, coma, vegetative, locked-in syndrome and brain death state (Kumar et al., 2009).

  • Post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are also common in TBI patients (John, Dominic & Justin, 2010). According to John et al. (2010), PTS is an indication that the brain has been severely damaged. Sometimes seizures start immediately after the damage. Such seizures are believed to cause further brain destruction by significantly reducing oxygen content in the brain. The brain reacts to low oxygen by producing excitatory neurotransmitters, leading to an increase in the brain’s metabolic requirements (John et al., 2010). This results in an increase in intracranial pressure and, consequently, destroys the brain.
  • Hydrocephalus is another complication associated with TBI (John et al., 2010). In this case, as John et al., (2010) point out, cerebrospinal fluid abnormally accumulates in the ventricles of the brain. This raises intracranial pressure and, as a result, causes head bulging. Patients with hydrocephalus are likely to convulse and exhibit poor mental functioning (John et al., 2010).
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis is also common in TBI patients (John et al., 2010). Some tissues can penetrate injured blood vessels and cause the formation of blood clots. Such clots can be transported to the lungs and cause a condition called pulmonary embolism (John et al., 2010). Pulmonary embolism is a highly dangerous condition that sometimes leads to death.
  • Heterotopic ossification has also been highly linked to TBI (Williams & Wood, 2010). Heterotopic ossification is a medical condition in which bones grow uncontrollably and extend beyond the skeleton. As Williams and Wood (2010) note, this condition is common among patients recovering from fractures or joint replacement. Although the relationship between TBI and heterotopic ossification is not well known, it is believed that brain injury can cause unregulated fracture healing (Williams & Wood, 2010).
  • TBI patients are also likely to experience spasticity (Williams & Wood, 2010). Spasticity is a condition characterized by difficulties in muscle stretching. In this case, brain injury can affect upper motor neurons which is responsible for inhibiting excess muscle contraction (Williams & Wood, 2010). Damaging this neuron leaves muscles highly contracted.

Brain damage can also impair a patient’s cognitive abilities (Williams & Wood, 2010). In this regard, the patient can experience inadequacies in problem-solving, learning and other functions that utilize cognitive abilities (Williams & Wood, 2010). TBI patients may also experience memory problems. The extent of cognitive challenges depends on the extent of the damage. In summary, the brain controls all activities in the body. Consequently, brain damage can affect any body activity, depending on the part of the brain that is damaged.

Treatment

Treatment of TBI should commence immediately after the damage (Bahloul, 2011). Initial treatment should focus on preventing further damage. TBI patients may be admitted in intensive care unit depending on the extent of the injury and the required support (Bahloul, 2011). Since some of the damages may be irreversible, disease management should focus on restoring the patient’s normal functioning.

Prognosis

Prognosis depends on the extent of the injury. In this case, severe TBI can cause serious disabilities that last longer as compared to mild and moderate injuries (Bahloul, 2011). To put this into perspective, about 10% of mild TBI cases lead to irreversible disabilities. 66% of people who suffer moderate TBI get irreversible disabilities. Patients with severe TBI have the worst prognosis with 100% of them experiencing irreversible disabilities (Bahloul, 2011). It is, however, worth noting that all patients who suffer mild TBI can live independent lives after treatment. 90% of those who suffer moderate TBI live independent lives after completing treatment (Bahloul, 2011). Severe brain injury is associated with high rate of deaths. However, some patients with severe brain injuries recover to become independent.

Conclusion

TBI is one of the medical conditions that can end tragically if not well managed. Whenever healthcare providers come across TBI cases, they should immediately try to prevent further damage while assessing the extent of the damage. Complications associated with TBI should be monitored and preventive measures put in place. Depending on the severity of the damage, appropriate treatment can help restore the patient’s normal life.

References

Bahloul, M, Chaari A, Chabchoub I, Medhyoub F, Dammak H, Kallal H, … Bouaziz. M. (2011). Outcome analysis and outcome predictors of traumatic head injury in childhood: Analysis of 454 observations. Journal of Emergence Trauma Shock. 4(2):198–206.

John, P. A., Dominic B. & Justin M. (2010). Neurocritical care: A guide to practical management. London: Springer.

Kumar, R.; Husain M., Gupta R. K., Hasan K.M., Haris M., Agarwal A.K., … Narayana P.A. ( 2009). Serial changes in the white matter diffusion tensor imaging metrics in moderate traumatic brain injury and correlation with neuro-cognitive function. Journal of Neurotrauma 26 (4): 481–495.

Williams, C., Wood R.L. (2010). Alexithymia and emotional empathy following traumatic brain injury. J. Clin Exp Neuropsychol 32 (3): 259–67.

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Reference

EssaysInCollege. (2022, July 8). Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults. Retrieved from https://essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/

Reference

EssaysInCollege. (2022, July 8). Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults. https://essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/

Work Cited

"Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults." EssaysInCollege, 8 July 2022, essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/.

References

EssaysInCollege. (2022) 'Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults'. 8 July.

References

EssaysInCollege. 2022. "Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults." July 8, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/.

1. EssaysInCollege. "Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults." July 8, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/.


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EssaysInCollege. "Traumatic Brain Injury Among Young Adults." July 8, 2022. https://essaysincollege.com/traumatic-brain-injury-among-young-adults/.