There are two main types of brain injury: traumatic and acquired brain injury. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results from damage to the brain caused by an external force, such as traffic accidents, acts of violence, falls, injuries and blows to the head. Acquired brain injury (ABI) results from damage to the brain caused by strokes, tumours and drug or alcohol abuse and neurodegenerative diseases, near drowning or poisoning.
Some brain injury can cause significant lifelong consequences including a range of physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioural symptoms. After sustaining a brain injury people may find that things they once considered easy and familiar become difficult and alien.
- Difficulty processing information and having to use intensive mental effort to do things that previously required little or no effort
- Difficulty in expressing thoughts and understanding others
- Shortened attention span and memory loss
- Unpredictable and/or inappropriate behaviour, sometimes accompanied by violence
- Changes in vision, hearing or sense of touch
- Spatial and time disorientation, leading to confusion
- Persistent headaches
- Extreme mental fatigue and/or physical fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Sleep disorders
- Slurred speech
- Irritability and impatience
- Decreased or heightened emotional reactions
Diagnosing brain injuries involves a physical examination of the injury. Gaining an understanding of the patient’s medical history and medication usage is also important in deciding the next steps. CT and MRI scans allow the brain to be imaged and closely examined for bleeding and swelling. It can also determine any other injuries to the skull and look for bleeding in the sinuses of the face. Once doctors have completed their detailed physical and neurological evaluations, they are able to determine the extent of the traumatic brain injury and provide a diagnosis and determine the nature and severity of the injury.
How Keys PCE support people with a brain injury:
We provide comprehensive supported living and rehabilitation services for people with both traumatic and acquired brain injuries. Through supported living we motivate and encourage people to maintain their independence and reacquire practical skills.
We tailor support to individuals’ needs and encourage and motivate people to increase their independence through therapeutic, leisure and social activities. We also offer longterm residential support for people with a brain injury in our rehabilitation centres across the UK. It’s important that the people who stay with us have a real input into their care programme. We develop specific goals in conjunction with each person, which are regularly evaluated to ensure they benefit as much as possible from the rehabilitation process.