Traumatic Brain Injuries

Essay by longrnCollege, Undergraduate January 2005

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Traumatic Brain Injury

Pamela S. Long, RN

University of Phoenix


June 24, 2003

Brain Trauma

Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death in the United States for people ages 1-34. Head injuries are among the most frequent and serious causes of neurological impairment or death for adolescents and young adults, ages 15 to 24, and the elderly, 65 years and older (CDC, 2003). Approximately 1.5 million Americans sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) annually in the United States. That is at least one traumatic brain injury occurring every 21 seconds (Brain Injury Association of America, 2003). Major causes of traumatic brain injury are:

transportation related incidents.

bicycle riding, skate boarding, and skooter riding.

sports and recreation.



shaken-baby syndrome.

(Brain Injury Association of America, 2003)

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is defined in terms of open and closed head injuries result in neurological impairments. A brain injury is complex; it can cause physical, cognitive, and social changes that affect an individual for a short period of time, or permanently.

There are several types of brain injuries, some require little if any rehabilitation, while others require years of intense rehabilitation. In many cases recovery is a lifelong process of adjustments and accommodations for the individual and the family.

"TBI is often characterized according to severity, location of injury, and mechanism of injury"( Copstead and Banasik, 2000). The Glascow Coma Scale (GCS), on admission or 48 hours after asmission, is used to determine the severity of TBI. A GCS of less than 8 denotes sever injury with a poor prognosis; a moderate injury is characterized by a score of 9 to 12. A score greater than 12 is associated with little or no injury (Copstead and Banasik, 2000). The irony of a mild brain injury is that the repercussions...