Surviving Injury

happening it may not be apparent that the person who was hurt has such an injury. Later, when the consequences of the head injury begin to interfere significantly with the person’s life, neither the injured individual nor the family relates the problems back to the crash. When the brain is deprived of air, a

Brain injury may not be diagnosed immediately.

secondary injury can occur. If a victim/survivor’s airway is obstructed in any way, the brain does not receive the oxygen it requires, killing brain cells in the process. Also complicating matters is the possible loss of blood, reducing both blood pressure and a fresh supply of oxygenated blood to the brain. Within the first 24-48 hours following a head injury, the brain is also at serious risk for swelling and bruising. As the brain swells, the skull in effect squeezes the brain, cutting off circulation. If this continues, brain swelling can cut circulation completely, causing the brain to die. Most traumatic brain injuries will result in bruising of the frontal, occipital, and temporal lobes. However, even a wound that has been labeled a mild TBI can significantly impact family, personal relationships, employment, and general well being. Classification and Diagnoses Doctors classify brain injuries because these categories help the medical team determine the severity of the injury, course of treatment, and possible outcomes. Mild brain injuries are the most common of all brain injuries. Unlike severe brain trauma, resulting in injuries that are obvious, mild traumatic brain injuries may not have noticeable medical problems. Although the term mild is sometimes used to describe the medical characteristics of the problem, the end result can be permanent and devastating. Deep areas of the brain are frequently injured in crashes. These sections are called the subcortical areas and are essential for processing information and for communication between Trauma to the brain can happen several different ways.

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