Traumatic brain injury (TBI) happens when a bump, blow, jolt or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the United States suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. Half of all TBIs are from motor vehicle accidents. Military personnel in combat zones also are at risk.
Symptoms of a TBI may not appear until days or weeks following the injury. A concussion is the mildest type of TBI. It can cause a headache or neck pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, dizziness and tiredness. People with a moderate or severe TBI may have those, plus other symptoms:
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to awaken from sleep
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
- Dilated eye pupils
Health care professionals use a neurological exam and imaging tests to assess TBI. Serious traumatic brain injuries need emergency treatment. Treatment and outcome depend on the severity of the injury. TBI can cause a wide range of changes affecting thinking, sensation, language or emotions. TBI can be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder. People with severe injuries usually need rehabilitation.
Learn more about brain injuries.
Source: National Institutes of Health: National Institutes of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Why choose Ohio State for treatment of traumatic brain injuries?
Breadth of Neurological Services: As a Level I – the highest level – trauma service center, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has specialized neurological experts and services immediately available to handle a breadth of traumatic brain injuries, from mild to severe.
Neuro Intensive Care: Our fellowship-trained neuro intensivists offer a level of care unmatched in central Ohio for managing swelling of the brain and other complications of traumatic brain injuries.
Advanced Neuroimaging: We use cutting-edge neuro metabolic imaging to determine severity of concussion or brain injury. Information gathered by neuro metabolic imaging, including positron emission tomography (PET) scans and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scans, can significantly increase our ability to detect the extent of your injury, thus guiding long-term treatment plans. We also routinely use computed tomography (CT) and MRI scans in the early stages to assess for swelling and bleeding in the brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury Research: We are one of only 16 centers in the country to pursue innovative projects and research through the Traumatic Brain Injury Model Systems program to help people with traumatic brain injury. The program is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research and awards grants to us and other institutions that are national leaders in medical research and patient care. Through our participation, you receive access to the most advanced treatments and therapies available for TBI.
Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program: We are the only rehabilitation program in central Ohio certified to handle traumatic brain injury. Our patients have excellent outcomes, including:
- Functional gains that exceed national standards
- Discharge-to-home rate that is higher than the national average
- Recovery of self-care, mobility and cognitive thinking skills exceeding national averages