Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury 

Traumatic Brain Injury 

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a disruption in the normal function of the brain that can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or penetrating head injury. TBI survivors may have trouble returning to work and fatigue, memory problems, or loss of concentration make it challenging to carry out simple tasks.


TBIs contribute to about 30% of all injury deaths in the United States each year.


Complications can occur after a TBI. The more severe the TBI is, the more serious the complications will be.

Mild TBI

Most TBIs that occur each year are mild, called concussions. Mild TBI can occur after an impact to your head that causes your brain to shake quickly back and forth. They result in concussions or feelings of confusion that last 30 minutes or less. Most concussions do not require major medical treatments like surgeries. Individuals with mild TBI usually experience short-term symptoms and feel better within a couple of weeks. 

Moderate and Severe TBI​

  • Difficulty in thinking clearly and organizing thoughts or ideas

  • Difficulty in concentrating or remembering new information

  • Difficulty in solving problems

  • Difficulty in organizing and planning

  • Feeling slowed down

  • Reasoning and judgment

  • A moderate or severe traumatic brain injury can be caused by significant falls, car accidents, sports injuries, or child abuse, which lead to a loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 minutes. Individuals with moderate or severe TBI usually have long-term symptoms and may have life-long effects.

Symptoms of TBI
Symptoms of TBI vary from mild TBI to severe TBI. They include problems in cognition, communication, mental state, physical activities, sensitiveness, and sleep.

  • Cognitive

    • Difficulty in thinking clearly and organizing thoughts or ideas

    • Difficulty in concentrating or remembering new information

    • Difficulty in solving problems

    • Difficulty in organizing and planning

    • Feeling slowed down

    • Reasoning and judgment

  • Mental

    • More emotional

    • More nervousness

    • Mood changes

    • Feeling depressed or anxious

    • Irritable

  • Physical

    • Loss of consciousness

    • Headache

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Difficulty in speech

    • Difficulty in balancing

    • Difficulty in self-control

    • Sleeping more or less than usual

    • Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes

    • Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears

  • Sensory

    • Blurred vision

    • Ringing in the ears

    • A bad taste in the mouth

    • Changes in the ability to smell

    • Sensitive to noise or light​​

References:
Brain & Injury Law - Collette Parsons Corrin LLP. “What Is Moderate or Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?” Brain & Injury Law - Collette Parsons Corrin, 28 Nov. 2019, braininjurylaw.ca/practice-areas/brain-injuries/moderate-severe-traumatic-brain-injuries-tbi.
“Concussion.” Healthline, 7 Mar. 2019, www.healthline.com/health/concussion#diagnosis.
“Severe TBI | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2 Apr. 2019, www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/severe.html.
“Traumatic Brain Injury / Concussion | Concussion | Traumatic Brain Injury | CDC Injury Center.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Aug. 2020, www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/index.html.
“Traumatic Brain Injury - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 29 Mar. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/traumatic-brain-injury/symptoms-causes/syc-20378557.

Resources by Judy Zhu