Traumatic Brain Injury Essay

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Traumatic Brain Injury Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the term used when there is damage to the brain as the result of an injury. It usually results from a blow to the head that causes the brain to smash against the inside of the skull. An object, such as a bullet or shrapnel, penetrating the skull can also cause traumatic brain injury. If the injury is mild, there may be temporary dysfunction of brain cells. A more serious injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and physical damage to the brain that may result in long-term complications or death (Mayo, 2010). Traumatic brain injury, which is often called the signature wound of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, has many different causes. Some of the more common causes are damage by explosive devices, falls and motorcycle or vehicle accidents. Most TBI injuries experienced by service members during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which were used repeatedly against US forces (Military, 2011). TBI can have several physical and psychological effects. Symptoms can appear immediately or weeks later. Symptoms of a mild injury include: loss of consciousness for a few seconds to minutes, dazed or confused state, headache, nausea, sensory problems, mood change, depression or difficulty sleeping. Signs of a moderate to severe injury include: loss of consciousness for minutes to hours, profound confusion, agitation, slurred speech, weakness in extremities, loss of coordination, persistent headache, repeated vomiting, convulsions, or clear fluids draining from nose or ears (Mayo, 2010). According to the Center for Disease Control, at least 1.4 million people in the U.S. sustain a traumatic brain injury each year. Of these, about 50,000 die, 235,000 are hospitalized, and 1.1 million are treated and released from the
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