Brain Trauma Treatment
Treatment is based on the severity of the injury.
Mild traumatic brain injuries usually require no treatment other than rest and over-the-counter pain relievers to treat a headache. However, a person with a mild traumatic brain injury usually needs to be monitored closely at home for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms
Immediate emergency care
Emergency care for moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries focuses on making sure the person has enough oxygen and an adequate blood supply, maintaining blood pressure, and preventing any further injury to the head or neck.
Medications to limit secondary damage to the brain immediately after an injury may include:
- Anti-seizure drugs. People who’ve had a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury are at risk of having seizures during the first week after their injury.An anti-seizure drug may be given during the first week to avoid any additional brain damage that might be caused by a seizure. Continued anti-seizure treatments are used only if seizures occur.
- Coma-inducing drugs. Doctors sometimes use drugs to put people into temporary comas because a comatose brain needs less oxygen to function. This is especially helpful if blood vessels, compressed by increased pressure in the brain, are unable to supply brain cells with normal amounts of nutrients and oxygen.
- Diuretics. These drugs reduce the amount of fluid in tissues and increase urine output. Diuretics, given intravenously to people with traumatic brain injury, help reduce pressure inside the brain.
- Removing clotted blood (hematomas). Bleeding outside or within the brain can result in a collection of clotted blood (hematoma) that puts pressure on the brain and damages brain tissue.
- Repairing skull fractures. Surgery may be needed to repair severe skull fractures or to remove pieces of skull in the brain.
- Bleeding in the brain. Head injuries that cause bleeding in the brain may need surgery to stop the bleeding.
- Opening a window in the skull. Surgery may be used to relieve pressure inside the skull by draining accumulated cerebrospinal fluid or creating a window in the skull that provides more room for swollen tissues.