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What happens after a traumatic brain injury?

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result from a car crash, slip and fall accident, and many other occurrences. While some head injuries are mild and cause no lasting ill effects, others can contribute to health issues for many years to come.

Accordingly, it is important for people to understand what happens after TBI. Here are a few key points to consider if you or a loved one experiences head trauma.

Emergency medical care

Severe injuries require immediate treatment from medical personnel to limit the effects of the injury. Paramedics will transport the person to the nearest medical facility to deal with things like bleeding, skull fractures, and swelling. Brain swelling can cause many serious health effects, even loss of life, so it requires immediate attention. Once the urgent health issues receive treatment, doctors will determine the best course of action for further treatment.


Surgery is often necessary to repair the effects of serious TBI. Doctors use surgical procedures to address skull fractures, such as by removing potentially dangerous fragments of skull from the brain. If too much pressure builds in the area, doctors can also relieve pressure via surgery. In some cases, surgeons may need to remove blood clots that may lead to further damage to the brain.

Therapy and rehabilitation

Severe TBI can also require ongoing rehabilitation to help the person adjust to their injury. Physical therapy is key for improving movement and mobility, while occupational therapy helps the person perform daily activities when dealing with new limitations. If the TBI impacts speech, the person will also need therapy to enhance their current communication ability.

Some people eventually make a full recovery from TBI, while others do not. It all depends on the area of the brain damaged, as well as the extent of the damage that resulted from the TBI.