Lack of oxygen; can be caused by heart attack, airway obstruction, near drowning, lightning stike or even electrical shock
When the brain’s axons (main channels of communication) are stretched to the point of breaking, causing damaged brain cells to die
Rising pressure inside the brain or hematoma causing parts to shift out of place.
Loss of nerve cells in the brain and the connections between them.
Deep state of unconsciousness. Patient cannot be aroused, does not respond to stimuli, and cannot make voluntary actions. It can be medically induced to give the brain time to heal.
Measures hearing and vision, movement and communication, arousal, etc. to help determine the patient’s long-term prognosis. It can also be used throughout rehabilitation to gauge the recovery progress.
Gives doctors more detailed information about spinal cord or brain damage than X-rays can show.
Swelling inside the skull, squeezing brain cells, or interrupting blood flow and oxygen to brain tissue.
A person who works directly for the patient or family for a fee, helping with paperwork, billing, and management of post-trauma care.
Pool of blood or bruise inside the skull caused by damaged blood vessels. It can increase pressure inside the brain.
Internal or external bleeding caused by damage to a blood vessel.
Monitoring of the pressure inside the skull.
Patient may initially lose consciousness for 15 minutes or less; may experience memory loss about the trauma event; likely to feel dazed, disoriented or confused. Most traumatic brain injuries are initially rated as mild.
A condition of severely altered consciousness in which minimal, but definite, behavioral evidence of self or environmental awareness is demonstrated.
Patient may initially lose consciousness for 15 minutes to a few hours; similar, but more significant symptoms than mild TBI.
Uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to produce computer-generated images. It can help identify blood clots, swelling or skull fractures that may be compressing the brain and/or spinal cord.
Series of tests evaluating multiple aspects of the mind, including basic hand-eye coordination, higher-level thinking and cognitive skills necessary for everyday functioning.
Skilled in helping individuals learn, or relearn, the day-to-day activities they need to achieve maximum independence.
Doctor specializing in physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Treats disabilities that result from motor and sensory impairments.
Helps patients discover the wide range of recreational options they may be able to participate in and trains them to do so.
Nurse with special training in rehabilitative and restorative medicine.
A patient’s eyes may open, but they are not aware of themselves or their surroundings.
A patient may have a loss of consciousness for six hours or longer after injury or after a period of clarity. People remaining unconscious for a lengthy time may be in a coma, or a vegetative or minimally conscious state.
Body response triggered by the loss of blood to the brain, which can indirectly injure brain tissue.
Interruption of blood flow to any part of the brain caused by an artery blockage, hemorrhage, or aneurysm. A decrease in blood flow results in little or no oxygen reaching brain cells. It is sometimes called a “brain attack.” Stroke effects depend on where the stroke occurs in the brain and how much of the brain is damaged.
Stress responses such as agitation, fever, irregular vital signs, and excessive sweating. It can occur anytime from 24 hours to a week after the injury and is thought to be a sign of returning activity of the sympathetic, or protective, nervous system.
Helps people assess their job skills/readiness and return-to-work options.