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Traumatic Brain Injury: Recognizing Your Injury and Planning Your Recovery 

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Today, traumatic brain injuries are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While some cases of TBI are obvious to the patient and their caretaker, other cases of TBI are more complicated and develop over time. So, how do you know if you or a loved one may have suffered a TBI?

Nine Most Common Physical Symptoms of a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI):

  1. Loss of consciousness for a few seconds to a few minutes
  2. No loss of consciousness, but a state of being dazed, confused or disoriented
  3. Headache
  4. Nausea or vomiting
  5. Fatigue or drowsiness
  6. Problems with speech
  7. Difficulty sleeping
  8. Sleeping more than usual
  9. Dizziness or loss of balance

Nine Most Common Physical Symptoms of a Moderate to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

  1. Loss of consciousness from several minutes to hours
  2. Persistent headache or headache that worsens
  3. Repeated vomiting or nausea
  4. Convulsions or seizures
  5. Dilation of one or both pupils of the eyes
  6. Clear fluids draining from the nose or ears
  7. Inability to awaken from sleep
  8. Weakness or numbness in fingers and toes
  9. Loss of coordination

Since the leading cause of TBIs are slip/falls and collisions, Infants and toddlers are among the most high-risk age groups. Injuries within this age group are oftentimes difficult to recognize or diagnose because infants and young children might not be able to communicate headaches, sensory problems, confusion, and similar TBI symptoms. If you are a parent of a child who may have suffered a TBI, the injury may manifest in the following ways. 

Nine Most Common Symptoms of a Child Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):

  1. Change in eating or nursing habits
  2. Unusual or easy irritability
  3. Persistent crying and inability to be consoled
  4. Change in ability to pay attention
  5. Change in sleep habits
  6. Seizures
  7. Sad or depressed mood
  8. Drowsiness
  9. Loss of interest in favorite toys or activities

Recovery

For many,  recovering from a TBI is an overwhelming challenge. Patients and caretakers may wonder, where do I seek treatment? What do I do when I return home? How do I return to school/work? Although this process is incredibly stressful, there are resources out there to make things easier. In order to help with the recovery process for patients and their families, here are the best TBI resources available today.

Best TBI Prevention and Policy Resources:

  1. Massachusetts Department of Public Health: Division of Violence and Injury Prevention
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Contact: 800-232–4636
  3. Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts
    • Contact: 800-242-0030
  4. Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA)
    • Contact: 508-541-7997
  5. Concussion Legacy Foundation
    • Contact: 781-790-1921
  6. Massachusetts Concussion Management Coalition

For patients and their families seeking care for a concussion…

Best Care Facilities in the State of Massachusetts:

In Boston:

Boston Children’s Hospital Concussion Clinic

The Sports Concussion Clinic at Boston Children’s Hospital is the leading research-based sports concussion program in the nation. Our team of experts provides comprehensive care for athletes with sports concussions and offers concussion prevention and recovery education for athletes and their families.

Mass General Hospital for Children Sports Concussion Clinic

The Sports Concussion Clinic provides assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation services for student-athletes who experience a concussion during athletic participation or in daily life. A patient who has had a concussion may suffer from symptoms including, but not limited to: headache, nausea, sensitivity to light or noise, dizziness, depression, sleep disturbances, and changes in attention, concentration, and/or memory. We work with the student, family, and school through the recovery process.

Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Spaulding Rehabilitation is a world leader in advanced rehabilitation treatment and research – serving the greater Boston region and beyond. With three inpatient hospitals, a skilled nursing facility, and outpatient centers across eastern Massachusetts, our leading medical professionals, clinicians, and researchers will help you through your most challenging journey, so you can be the best version of yourself.

Boston Medical Center Pediatric Concussion Clinic

Children involved in contact sports like football and soccer run the risk of sustaining a concussion during play, just like those participating in everyday activities like ice skating or riding a bike. When your child suffers a head injury, Boston Medical Center’s Concussion Clinic for Children is here to help.

Brigham and Women’s Sports Neurology and Concussion Clinic

The Sports Neurology and Concussion Program at the Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough offers evaluation and treatment services exclusively for athletes experiencing neurological issues related to sports injuries such as: concussions, pain, peripheral nerve injuries, and others affecting their athletic performance.

Outside of Boston:

Berkshire Health Systems concussion Clinic  Pittsfield, MA

At the BMC Concussion and Evaluation Clinic, located on the 5th floor of the Medical Arts Building adjacent to BMC, patients receive a thorough evaluation and rehabilitation when necessary.

South Shore Hospital Concussion Management Clinic  South Weymouth, MA

The Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital provides clinical services at South Shore Hospital, including outpatient evaluation and management, second opinions for complex cases, diagnostic testing, and comprehensive neurological care for diseases of the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves.

Sports Concussion New England  Brookline, MA

Provides smarter, safer concussion management for student-athletes. Sports Concussion New England works together with a team of school nurses, physicians, athletic trainers, and educators to provide the best care to students recovering from a mild to a severe concussion.

Cantu Concussion Center, Emerson Hospital  Concord, MA

The Dr. Robert C. Cantu Concussion Center is a consultation outpatient facility located within the Emerson Health Center in Concord, Massachusetts. The Cantu Concussion Center provides traditional as well as integrative, individualized treatment for those suffering from concussive brain injury.

Southcoast Comprehensive Concussion Management Program  Dartmouth, MA

Southcoast Health offers a multidisciplinary team approach to help manage concussions from acute injury to post-concussion syndrome to rehabilitation. Our team includes neurosurgeons, neurologists, a neuropsychologist, athletic trainers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and vestibular therapists.

Sources: https://www.mayoclinic.org/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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