One kind of injury that Schachter & Hendy work with is traumatic birth injury (TBI). According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), traumatic birth injury happens when some kind of trauma happens to the brain and causes some kind of brain damage.
Causes of TBI:
There are many causes of TBI. It can be caused by a traumatic birth delivery, by hitting the head on a hard surface like a wall or floor, or it can be caused by some object hitting the head or penetrating the skull and brain tissue.
The symptoms of TBI include:
- mild, moderate, or severe damage
- consciousness or unconsciousness for a few seconds or minutes
- headache, confusion, lightheadedness, dizziness
- blurred vision
- ringing in the ears
- behavioral or mood changes
- trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
- vomiting or nausea
- convulsions or seizures
- inability to waken from sleeping
- dilation of one or both pupils
- slurred speech
- weakness or numbness in arms and legs
- loss of coordination
- increasing confusion or agitation
What is the treatment for TBI?
Anyone exhibiting the symptoms of any form of mild, moderate, or severe TBI should see a doctor immediately. Medical personnel will try to prevent the brain damage from getting worse with immediate stabilization treatment.
Treatment methods include:
- maintaining adequate blood flow
- maintaining proper oxygen supply to the brain and body
- controlling blood pressure
- using imaging tests to determine if it is mild, moderate, or severe damage
- physical therapy
- occupational therapy
- speech/language therapy
- psysiatry (physical medicine)
- social support
What are some possible disabilities that occur?
- Disabilities depend on severity of trauma, age and health of patient
- cognition—thinking, memory, reasoning
- sensory abilities like sight, hearing, touch, smell, taste
- communication—expressing thoughts and understanding
- behavior or mental health issues like depression or inappropriate actions
- stupor (temporary)
- vegetative state or coma
What is the future for TBI patients?
- About half of severe cases of TBI will need surgery to remove or repair ruptured blood vessels or bruised brain tissue.
- Researchers at NINDS are conducting clinical tests to determine new strategies and interventions to limit brain damage and better provide long-term recovery of patients.
For more information, contact http://www.ninds.nih.gov/research/tbi/index.htm.