How Are Brain Injuries Treated in the Emergency Room?
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are some of the most severe injuries that our body can withstand. The human brain is extremely delicate and requires maximum protection. However, accidents and trauma do happen and as a result, emergency treatment is vital.
An untreated brain injury can be life-threatening and can cause long-term health issues. If you or a loved one suffers from a blow to the head or brain injury, you should always seek emergency care.
Types of Brain Injuries
Mild & Moderate TBIs
A mild or moderate TBI can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head, or a hit to the body. This trauma causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth. It’s important to note that patients with repetitive moderate brain injuries could be at risk for long-term symptoms.
Typically, patients experience headaches, mild to moderate pain, and fatigue associated with a mild or moderate TBI. Other symptoms that patients may notice are:
- Poor balance
- Sleep interruption
- Mental confusion
- Nausea and vomiting
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to light
Mild TBIs such as concussions and moderate TBIs may not require any special medical treatment other than getting rest and limiting activities such as screen time and avoiding physical activities. Over-the-counter medications are also commonly used.
Severe TBIs are also caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head — but they can also be caused by a penetrating injury to the head.
Symptoms of a severe TBI include:
- Headache that gets worse or will not go away
- Loss of vision in one or both eyes
- Repeated vomiting or continued nausea
- Slurred speech
- Convulsions or seizures
- Inability to wake up from sleep
- Enlargement of the pupils
If a patient suffers from a severe TBI, they may need to undergo surgery as an emergency medical treatment to reduce the risk of further damage to the brain, such as:
- Remove blood clots
- Repair fractures in the skull
- Relieve pressure in the skull
Brain Injury Imaging
Imaging is without a doubt an integral aspect of the diagnosis and treatment development for every one of our patients. Typically, CT scans are used to diagnose acute TBIs at both the initial triage and follow-up, as they quickly detect injuries that require neurosurgical intervention.
CT (computerized tomography) scans process cross-sectional images of your bone structures, soft tissues, and blood vessels from different angles, providing more detailed anatomical information than a traditional x-ray.
For symptoms of head trauma, strokes, or fainting, we may recommend our observational services. With extended treatment, we’ll be able to monitor a patient’s symptoms for a period of time to detect changes in their health status.
At ER of Texas, we are certified to provide up to 24 hours of extended observation care and monitoring. Our emergency rooms are formally versed and equipped with efficient and trustworthy technology, clinically approved methodologies, and healthcare guidelines necessary for your rehabilitation. We streamline the process for a quicker diagnosis and treatment.
Follow Up Care
There is simply no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to brain injury recovery because the human brain heals differently for every patient. Therefore, treatment options are common for those diagnosed with mild, moderate, and severe TBI.
Most cases of mild TBI will heal over the course of a few weeks, but patients should avoid potentially worsening the state of their injury. This means waiting to resume their normal activities, including work, school, and sports until a doctor advises that it is okay. You should also schedule a follow-up appointment with your healthcare provider and document any new or persistent symptoms.
A person who has a traumatic brain injury may need to take additional medications for their associated symptoms, and they will most likely need to undergo rehabilitation therapy to help with the physical, emotional, and cognitive issues that often come with their injury.
Brain Injury Treatment
If you believe you have a head injury, visit one of our closest emergency center for treatment. It is also essential to inform your doctor how the injury was sustained so the severity of your injury can be evaluated.
At ER of Texas, we assess and care for head injuries utilizing up-to-date medical imaging technology to help identify the area of head trauma and ultimately prevent long-term brain damage as well as an increased risk of dementia from developing.
Our ER is open 24/7 to help treat and diagnose minor and major emergencies. Our board-certified physicians are available 24 hours.