GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOOD) – March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. With brain injuries affecting 58,000 Michigan residents yearly, Dr. Aashish Deshpande, Division Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spectrum Health, joined eightWest to talk more about this important topic.
Brain injuries happen when the normal function of the brain is disrupted by a blow, jolt or bump to the head. The primary cause of traumatic brain injury is falls, most typically seen in older adults or young children. Other causes are injuries from sports, auto or motor cycle crashes, domestic violence or shaken baby. When this blow or bump occurs, the brain actually collides with the skull which can cause bruising to the brain tissue, or even can tear blood vessels.
Symptoms of brain injury
- Temporary confusion, disorientation, or loss of consciousness
- Worsening headaches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Problems with memory / concentration
- Mood swings
- Changing level of consciousness
The terms “mild,” “moderate” and “severe” are used to describe the effect of the injury on brain function. A mild injury to the brain is still a serious injury that requires prompt attention and an accurate diagnosis.
Treatment for traumatic brain injury depends on the severity of the injury. Symptoms from Concussions and mild traumatic brain injury may resolve over a few days, however symptoms such as headache, difficulty with attention and focus or other symptoms may continue. In those situations post-concussion programs can be very helpful. More severe injury will require a hospital stay and rehabilitation for several weeks up to several years, depending on the severity of injury. The brain is incredibly complex and injuries to the brain require special care and attention, especially during rehabilitation.
How to prevent brain injury
- Wear a seatbelt
- Use a child safety seat
- Never drive under the influence
- Don’t text and drive
- Wear a helmet