If you sustained a traumatic brain injury because of a car accident, your diagnosis and treatment may vary from others with the same injury type.
Mayo Clinic explains how doctors can diagnose and treat TBIs.
How can doctors diagnose a TBI?
Doctors use a scale called the Glasgow Coma Scale. This is a 15 point test that assesses your ability to follow directions and move your limbs and eyes. The doctors will score between three and 15, with higher scores being less severe.
Doctors can also take imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, to visualize the brain’s different features. A CT scan may uncover blood clots, bruised brain tissue and an MRI provides a more detailed view.
How can doctors treat a TBI?
Treatment of a TBI may include methods to decrease the risk of secondary damage to the brain. These treatments may include anti-seizure drugs, diuretics to reduce the amount of fluid in the brain, and coma-inducing drugs to lessen the brain’s need for oxygen.
In addition to medication and rest, doctors may have to perform surgery to help your TBI. If you experience pressure inside your skull, the surgeon may cut a window into the head to allow more room for swelling. Brain bleeds may also need surgery to curb the bleeding.
For TBIs that include skull fractures, your doctor may need to remove the skull pieces or repair the fracture. When bleeding occurs inside or outside the brain, surgeons may remove any clotted blood.
Once treated for a TBI, most patients can begin to relearn basic skills. Significant brain injuries almost always require rehabilitation.