Traumatic brain injuries, TBI, usually result from an intense blow or jolt to the head. While the immediate effects can cause serious injuries to the brain, there can also be secondary effects or complications that also occur as a result of the original incident. These are some of the medical complications that may happen immediately or several weeks after the initial trauma.
After head or brain injuries occur the brain and surrounding tissues are left more susceptible to various types of infections. Protective tissues are sometimes torn, enabling bacteria to enter and infect the brain. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that infections can occur in different areas of the brain and usually develop within a few weeks after the original trauma.
Seizures can occur at almost any point after a severe head or brain injury. Reoccurring seizures can develop after an intense head trauma has taken place. The Minnesota Epilepsy Group has cited studies that suggest about 6 percent of epilepsy patients have developed the condition because of a TBI.
3. Blood Vessel Damage
Blood vessels can be damaged or destroyed because of serious head injuries. These broken or ruptured vessels can in turn lead to strokes or blood clots. According to Science Daily, suffering from a TBI may increase an individual’s chance of having a stroke within the next 3 months tenfold.
4. Nerve Damage
When injuries occur at the base of the skull, cranial nerves can become damaged. This type of nerve damage can cause a variety of physical conditions including loss of vision, double vision, paralysis of facial muscles, problems with the sense of smell, and difficulties swallowing.
5. Intellectual Difficulties
The long term effects of a severe brain injury can include cognitive difficulties. Memory, learning capabilities, and even the ability to reason effectively can all be results of these types of injuries. Intellectual problems that happen after a TBI can also include difficulties with speech and problems with language and communication in general.
6. Altered States of Consciousness
There are different levels of conscious states and various brain injuries can leave an individual in any one of these states on a temporary basis or even permanently. Some altered states include a minimally conscious state, a coma, a vegetative state, and locked-in syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic each of these conditions results in various degrees of consciousness. Finally, brain trauma can result in brain death.
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