When you or a loved one sustains serious head trauma, immediate and comprehensive medical attention is vital to improve the chance of recovery.
Severe brain injuries can have profound effects on a person’s life, both physically and mentally. Accordingly, being aware of all available treatment options can provide valuable insights into the recovery process.
Emergency care and testing
According to the Brain Injury Association of America, approximately 2.8 million people experience significant brain trauma on an annual basis. For these people, quick action is vital. Emergency personnel must transport the injured person to a hospital immediately. Doctors will then conduct a series of tests, such as CT scans and MRIs, to assess the severity of the injury.
Prompt surgical intervention can improve the chances of a successful outcome by preventing worsening effects. Depending on the injury, surgical procedures may be necessary to alleviate pressure on the brain and repair other forms of damage. Surgeons might remove blood clots, repair fractures or address other issues that could contribute to complications.
Medications play a critical role in the treatment of severe brain injuries, and customizing each patient’s medication plan to their specific needs is especially important. Common treatments include pain relievers to manage discomfort, anticonvulsant drugs to prevent seizures and medications to control swelling and intracranial pressure.
Once doctors address the acute effects of a brain injury, rehabilitation may be the next step. Various therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy, can help patients learn new ways to cope with their challenges while also regaining lost skills. Like medication plans, therapeutic staff can tailor rehabilitation therapies to each person’s needs.
Cognitive and behavioral support
Along with physical effects, significant brain injuries can also impact cognitive and emotional function. Learning to navigate changes in mood, behavior and cognitive abilities typically requires the assistance of psychologists and counselors. These professionals also provide valuable support to patients’ families.
Many brain injury patients also require ongoing monitoring, such as regular follow-up appointments and medical assessments. These visits help track recovery progress while also allowing doctors to make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.
The goal of brain injury treatment is to provide patients with optimal care at every stage of their recovery. A multi-faceted approach is often the most effective, as it ensures that healthcare staff continually meets the patient’s unique medical needs.