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Severity of TBI

Author: Asis Tung

Traumatic Brain Injuries Severities

When a traumatic brain injury occurs, specialists decide on a treatment by looking at the severity of the injury, which can be on a scale from Mild to Severe. Doctors have come to find multiple treatments of different brain injury severities and have concluded what life may be like during and after a TBI. 



Mild brain injury is when the patient faces mild complications but nothing deep inside the brain is affected. The patient may be disoriented, and at the worst, they may be unconscious for a few seconds or minutes. Doctors must take a closer look at these injuries and monitor physical movement and the mental state of the patient before confirming that it is a mild injury. Otherwise, it can be more serious. 



A moderate TBI is similar to a mild TBI except the symptoms do not go away for a longer period of time. A patient might remain unconscious for hours and face confusion and disorientation for days or even weeks. These effects could be physical, cognitive, or behavioural changes that can end up being permanent if the damage is extensive. It can lead to changes in the way the patient acts, responds to things, thinks, and physically moves. 



Severe brain injury is when the skull is extremely damaged. When a TBI is severe, patients are unlikely to return to their previous lives. During an incident like this, timing is crucial, and the patient will require treatments, most likely neurological surgery, as soon as possible. The surgery can be performed to remove small pieces of skull or to stop bleeding in the brain. 

Two types of severe brain injuries are closed head and open head.


Closed head vs Open Head Injury

A closed head injury is when the protective layers of the brain have not been exposed to oxygen but the injury is deep inside or it may be on the exterior. 


Glasgow Coma Scale

A Glasgow coma scale is used to measure the intensity of the brain injury and the patients’ level of stability and is done roadside during an accident. 

This score is given based of three things that are as follows:

  • Eye opening

  • Verbal response

  • Physical movement 


Points are given for each factor, and the scores are as follows:

A score of 3: the deepest level of coma; the patient is unresponsive. 

Anything underneath 8: very severe, and the patient may still be in coma for quite a while. 

Anything over 9 but under 14: the patient is not in the state of coma but is still in shock and not fully alert and responsive. 

A score of 15: the highest; the patient is fully responsive. This test is done roadside or comes first when examining the state of an accident


After TBI

Depending on the severity of the TBI, a full recovery can always be made. It is always possible to support a TBI patient and help them to recover fast and fully! The pause of brain functions caused by a concussion or mild TBI usually recover within 3 months. A moderate TBI can take longer than 5 months, but brain functions do return. A severe TBI might result in lifestyle changes, such as the need to regain basic functions or something more severe. 



“Glasgow Coma Scale” (May 11, 2021)

“Traumatic Brain injury”,to%20severe%20permanent%20brain%20damage. (May 11, 2021)

“TBI/Traumatic Brain Injury” 11, 2021)

“4 types of TBI and 3 levels of severity”,mild%2C%20moderate%2C%20and%20severe.(May 11, 2021)

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