Treatment and rehabilitation for traumatic brain-injury (TBI) depends on the severity and effects of the brain damage. Mild TBI may require no treatment other than rest, over-the-counter pain relievers, and close monitoring by a physician for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms. Moderate to severe traumatic brain injury may require emergency surgery and intensive care to stabilize the injured person and minimize secondary injury.
Emergency surgery may be needed to prevent or minimize secondary damage to brain tissues; emergency surgical-procedures may include:
Removing Blood Clots
Bleeding outside or within the brain can result in a collection of clotted blood (hematoma) that puts pressure on the brain and damages brain tissues.
Repairing Skull Fractures
Surgery may be needed to repair severe skull fractures or to remove fragments of skull that have penetrated the brain.
Opening a Window in the Skull
A section of bone may be removed to relieve pressure inside the skull by draining accumulated cerebral spinal fluid and/or providing more room for swollen tissues.
- Medications that may be administered to minimize secondary brain-damage or prescribed for TBI treatment during recovery and rehabilitation may include:
- Analgesics for pain relief and discomfort
- Anti-Coagulants to minimize blood clots
- Anti-Convulsants to prevent seizures
- Anti-Depressants to treat symptoms of depression
- Diuretics to reduce fluid in tissues
- Muscle Relaxers to reduce muscle spasms
- Sedatives to induce sleep
- Stimulants to increase alertness and attention