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Traumatic Brain Injury

Concussion

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What is Brain Injury?

Brain injury can be a devastating disability, and given the brain’s complexity and the differences in the types, locations, and extent of damage, the effects of a brain injury can be wide and varied. Some occur immediately, and some may take days or even years to appear.

The most common after effects of undiagnosed concussion and head trauma are memory issues, drug and alcohol dependency, anger outbursts family violence,road rage and criminality. Any one of the symptoms can alter or devastate a person’s life, and brain injury is made all the more difficult by the fact that it’s often hard to see and just as often misdiagnosed or dismissed as “personality problems” or a perceived mental disorder. But in fact, it is a serious and legitimate illness where sufferers deserve all the help and support they can get.

© Brain Injury Center 2015

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The Human Brain

The human brain in an incredible thing! It’s one of the most complex and least understood parts of the human body, but science is making new advances every day that tell us more about the brain.

The average human brain is 5.5 inches wide and 3.6 inches high. When we’re born, our brains weigh about 2 pounds, while the adult brain weighs about 3 pounds.

The brain accounts for about 2% of your total body weight, but it uses 20% of your body’s energy!

It sends out more electrical impulses in one day than all the telephones in the world, and it’s estimated that the brain thinks about 70,000 thoughts in a 24-hour period.

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Brain Injury Centre Australia

TBI's are frequently overlooked or misdiagnosed by the medicos.

Often there is no mention of brain injury, or even a head injury, in the ambulance or hospital records.

Admitting doctors reasonably concentrate on the obvious and possibly life threatening injuries like broken limbs and bleeding lacerations, and don't have the time or possibly the expertise to identify a TBI.

Patients are often discharged without the patients themselves realising that in addition to other more obvious injuries they also have a TBI.

The morbid consequences of a TBI may not actually manifest themselves for weeks or months as the focus is on recovering from the more obvious injuries. However gradually those close to the accident victim start to notice the unpleasant changes in personality, stamina, cognition and behaviour.

This causes strain on relationships as the sufferer becomes increasingly moody, aggressive and generally difficult to get along with, all of which are compounded by the accident victim's lack of insight.

Accident victims with TBI risk becoming disconnected from their family and friends. They generally can't cope with a return to work even though their other more obvious injuries have subsided. Jobs are lost. Financial strain adds to their misery.

Busy GPs lack the time or patience to look into the possibility of a TBI to explain their patient's changed behaviour and be inclined to simply put it down to psychological factors. It can be a nightmare.

As a consequence rehabilitation is often denied, or is provided too late to be effective.

An experienced counsellor, psychologist or lawyer who understands TBI will know the viscious circle that a TBI can cause, and can explain the types of doctors and effective treatments that the injured person needs for the brain injury to be properly evaluated.

© 2016 Tom Goudkamp OAM


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