It is seen that with urbanization, there has been an increase in road traffic accidents. Road accidents account for a major cause of head injuries along with other causes like falls, assaults, sports and anything related to recreational activities. As brain is one of the vital organs of our body, when injured it can disrupt the entire body and affects the mental status of a person. Another important part of our body is spinal cord, which connects the brain to the body. Spinal cord injury is also major and serious injury that mostly occurs due to the damage of the spinal cord because of trauma or degenerative diseases. Both brain and spinal cord injury require immediate medical intervention. There is a high chance of survival and recovery if, immediate medical attention and treatment following either the two types of injury is taken care of; this is known as ‘Golden Hour’, in medical terms and lasts from a few minutes to few hours after the injury. The sooner the patient is taken to the hospital, the better the chances of survival.
In this blog, we would talk about the two major types of injury – the head injury and spine injury, in details.
Head injury: A person having a head injury should be immediately taken to the hospital possessing a neurology department and comprising experienced neurosurgeons. The head injuries or Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) are categorised into following types:
Concussion: A common type of injury caused when a person is playing some sports and gets hit by a sporting equipment or has head on collision with another person.
Contusion: A bruise in the brain that may result in swelling.
Hematoma: Internal Bleeding takes place in the brain.
Skull fracture: A serious injury that affects the brain.
Head Injury Symptoms
1.Headache and memory loss
2.Depression and dizziness
4.Blurred vision and sensitivity to light
If you notice any of the following conditions in a person, then he needs to be taken to at any neurosurgery hospitals for immediate treatment. It includes:
1.Fracture in the skull
2.Blood oozing out from nose, ears and mouth
3.Low blood pressure
4.Changes in the face
5.Unable to move the limbs
6.Loss of smell, taste, hearing and vision
7.Loss of consciousness
8.Low Breathing rate
10.Vomiting & nausea
11.Swelling on the injury
When a person is affected with brain injury, he should be put under medical care. The doctor may perform X-ray to check whether there is fracture in the skull or spine, can do CT scan or an MRI, or can perform surgery, if needed. Even after coming back to normal routine, the patient must be kept in observation and if anything serious crops up, he should be taken to the doctor for further consultation.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spine injury is a critical injury in which the spine gets seriously affectd, posing a threat to mental condition on the person. Spine injury can affect physical, mental, and emotional health of the person and also may lead to death.
Causes of Spine Injury
There are two causes of spinal cord injury- traumatic injuries and non-traumatic injuries.
Traumatic injuries: Traumatic injuries include falls from a significant height, injuries suffered from car accidents, sports for example, collision in football game, diving into the shallow water and hitting the bottom of the pool, electrical accidents, gunshot or knife injuries, and during gymnastics.
Non-traumatic injuries: Injury to the spinal cord may also happen due to non-traumatic injuries, which include cancer, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammation, and osteoporosis.
Spine Injury Symptoms
Spinal cord injury symptoms may vary with severity by which the spinal cord has been affected, and the site. It is observed that higher the level of spinal cord injury, the more is the risk of neurological dysfunction.
1.Loss of movement in hand s, legs, or other organs
2.Loss of bladder and bowel control
3.Difficulty in walking and maintaining coordination
4.Numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers and toes
6.Loss of sensation
7.Pain due to damaged nerve fibres
Risk Factors of Spinal Cord Injury
Though spinal cord injury can happen anytime, and to anyone, but certain factors increase the risk of the injury. These are:
1.Males as compared to females are at a greater risk of traumatic spinal cord injuries
2.People of age group 16 years to 30 years are more prone to injuries due to risky behaviour
3.The elder people usually above 65 year are at higher risk due to falls
4.People suffering from osteoporosis and arthritis
Complications arising due to Spine Injury
1.Psychological impacts like depression, anxiety, and anger
2.Respiratory dysfunction like weakness of respiratory muscles, pneumonia, & respiratory failure
4.Urinary and bowel complications like bladder dysfunction, poor bowel condition and urinary tract infection
5.Painful muscle spasms, poor tone in soft muscles
6.Musculoskeletal pain and neuropathic pain.
7.High pressure sores may cause infection and septicemia.
8.Sexual health alterations
9.Weight loss, reduced mobility
1.Don’t drink and drive. Always use a seat belt while driving.
2.While playing sports, ensure that all safety gears are in place.
3.Be careful to prevent falls like the use of handrails, using non-slip slippers and floor mats, and keep floor of the bathroom dry to avoid falls.
4.Be careful while diving into shallow water.
Spinal Cord Injury Treatment
The primary aim of the treatment is to prevent complications and make the patient as independent as possible. Doctors may carry out the following treatment options:
1.Medications for pain management
2.Immobilization to prevent further complications
3.Surgery to remove the objects or masses that are compressing the spine
At Neotia Getwel Multispecialty hospital, we have experienced neurosurgeons who can provide right treatment, medication and conduct surgery efficiently, if needed. Our skilled medical staff members monitor the patient until he gets back to his normal routine.
Though all attempts are made to provide correct information on the subject, inadvertent & typographical errors arising out of manual intervention cannot be ruled out. It is requested to bring any such discrepancies to the notice of the blogger for correction.