The brain is one of the most dangerous places that can get injured. This can lead to life-altering effects and in some cases, death. Data collected in 2020 revealed that someone is admitted to a hospital with a brain injury every 90 seconds in the UK. This is an alarming statistic as it highlights just how prominent these injuries are.
Although brain injuries are a scary prospect, advancements in technology now mean treatment is improving. This can help patients make a greater recovery and at fast rates in some cases. To find out more about brain injuries, how they’re treated and what future treatments may look like, our comprehensive guide below can help. Read on to find out more.
What are brain injuries?
There are several forms of brain injury with different severities and impacts on the human body. These include:
- Acquired brain injury – This is an injury to the brain that has been caused since birth. Common causes include falls, car accidents, a tumour or stroke.
- Traumatic brain injury – Caused through trauma to the head. This is also known as a head injury and can be caused by car accidents, assaults and falls at work, home or in public places.
Whatever the type of brain injury suffered, some of the possible side effects include behaviour changes and reduced self-awareness due to damage to the part of the brain that regulates emotions and impulses.
How are brain injuries treated?
Less severe injuries to the brain will typically require little input from medical professionals. Instead, you will be advised to rest and take over-the-counter painkillers. However, in some mild traumatic brain injuries, the patient may need extra monitoring at home. You’ll then be required to attend follow-up doctor appointments.
If a serious brain injury occurs, then the immediate focus of healthcare staff is to provide the patient with enough oxygen and blood to prevent further injury to the head and neck area. The patient may then be taken to the emergency room to avoid further damage caused by inflammation, bleeding or oxygen supply to the brain. Some common surgeries that a severe brain injury may need include:
- Removal of clotted blood
- Skull fracture repair
- Stopping a brain bleed
- Relieving pressure on the brain by opening a window in the skull
Brain injuries can take over two years to fully recover from in severe cases. You’ll need plenty of rest during this time and the doctor will let you know when you’re ready to return to work and everyday activities. Your recovery period is a good time to instruct a brain injury solicitor too if you weren’t to blame for the injury.
The future of brain injuries
To reduce the effects brain injuries have on patients, new research suggests that biochemical analysis of the patient’s brain tissue can be used to diagnose severe brain injuries. This can then be used to find the best treatment for the patient, so they have a better chance of making a full recovery.