In this Article

A traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs when the head experiences a sudden and significant force, such as a fall, vehicle accident, or collision.

Overview of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries range from mild to serious, can impact kids, teens, and adults and can have lasting impacts including permanent disability. In fact, brain injuries such as TBIs are one of the most common causes of disability worldwide. However, recovery is possible. Intermountain Healthcare continues to discover new pathways and solutions to healing following major brain injuries.

Symptoms

With any recovery, the sooner treatment begins the better, so it is important to be aware of symptoms and to seek medical attention as soon as possible. The most common physical symptoms include headaches, nausea and vomiting, exhaustion, problems with vision and sensitivity to light and noise, numbness and tingling, changes in sleep habits, and dizziness.

Individuals may also experience mental and emotional symptoms, such as trouble remembering events, difficulty focusing or concentrating, and feeling more sluggish and fuzzy.

Treatment and Rehab

Intermountain’s experienced physicians employ a series of therapies to treat these symptoms and to help patients struggling with traumatic brain injuries navigate recovery. In some cases surgery may be needed, however in most cases therapies often begin in the ICU and continue in rehabilitation units. In these settings caregivers focus on giving patients the nutrients they need, and helping them return to normal activities.

Rehabilitation helps patients improve their ability to function at home and in their community, as well as adapt to changes and limitations that may result from their injury. They will also keep an eye on ulcers, blood clots, and respiratory complications that may arise from TBI.

Rehabilitation can take many forms depending on patient needs, and might include physical, occupational, and speech therapy, as well as psychiatric care and social support. All of these are designed to limit the long-term effects of the injury as much as possible.

Every individual heals differently, which is why Intermountain is committed to personalizing treatment and rehabilitation plans to each patient and case. Rehabilitation may involve many types of medical professionals, including doctors, nurses, physical therapists, speech therapists, and a case manager to help coordinate every aspect of care.

Long-term Outlook

While many are able to make a full recovery following a traumatic brain injury, others may require permanent care and support. TBI sufferers may also be more susceptible to other problems later in life, including Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia.

Some long-term results of TBI can show up years later. You may be at higher risk long-term for problems such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and other forms of dementia. However Intermountain Healthcare is your partner in helping you stay well, whatever health challenges may come your way.