A variety of things can lead to brain damage. What we commonly see in our practice and the case that come into our office is really two main causes: there is a lack of oxygen to the brain, called brain hypoxia, or there is a traumatic brain injury, which typically results from some form of accident. Now, the lack of oxygen to the brain, obviously, can come from a variety of different factors: a newborn child during the delivery process, drowning, choking, suffocation, in cardiac arrest, and scenarios like that. A stroke, carbon monoxide poisoning, and extreme asthma attacks can all cause brain hypoxia, which prevents your brain cells from receiving the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function. Symptoms of brain hypoxia include temporary memory loss and inability to pay attention, and it may result in seizure, coma, and/or brain death. Brain hypoxia is primarily treated with medication and IV fluids, and like all brain injuries, the sooner it’s treated, the better. In some cases, like when oxygen is deprived by high altitudes, the immediate treatment could be as simple as returning to a normal altitude; however, in most situations, it’s imperative that a doctor or other medical personnel ensures the return of normal brain function.
Then there is the traumatic brain injury side of things, and those are the result of a forceful impact. That can happen in a car accident, when someone falls onto their head, as part of a sporting activity— football is a particularly common source of traumatic brain injury— or in a job-related accident. With traumatic brain injury, rather than cells being deprived of oxygen and nutrients, an external mechanical force causes dysfunction in the cells and damage to tissue and blood vessels. In this case, the harm comes from bruising, torn tissues, and bleeding in the brain, along with other physical damage. A person with a traumatic brain injury might exhibit a variety of symptoms, including a headache, dizziness, loss of balance, slurred speech, and agitation. Children can also fall victim to traumatic brain injuries, though they may be too young to verbalize the symptoms. If your child exhibits changes to their eating or sleeping habits, persistent crying, irritability, and/or a loss of interest in their favorite toys, you might consider the possibility of brain damage.
The question with brain injuries is how fast we can get someone to the hospital; if they’re suffering from oxygen deprivation or if they’ve sustained an injury to the head, it’s imperative that they receive care as soon as possible. In cases of brain hypoxia, oxygen must be returned to the brain, and the heart may need support in the aftermath. For traumatic injuries, going to the hospital can keep the injured person from making their injuries any worse. Sometimes, it can be the decision between life and death depending on how that’s done. If you have any questions regarding a brain injury or a brain damage or anything that you may be suffering from, give us a call, and we will help you in any way that we can.