FAQs

 

As people surf the net, then contact us, some of our most frequently asked questions are:

WHAT ARE THE LEVELS OF BRAIN INJURY?


Brain injuries are usually classified as Mild, Moderate, or Severe. The kind of treatment given in the acute stage (immediately after the injury) is an indication of the doctor’s thinking. This writer’s impressions of treatments for brain injury severity levels are:

  1. Mild: "Go home, watch for symptoms, take Tylenol, call if needed." These are too frequently under-diagnosed and under-treated because brain functions seem "sluggish" after injury. (You are not going crazy; you have a brain injury that needs attention.)

  2. Moderate: These are better diagnosed, but eventually the treatments will usually focus on cognitive, social, and vocational training, if you can find it. Eye problems and headaches are clues to be aware of.

  3. Severe: These need immediate medical attention for physical issues before cognitive, emotional, psychological, and other issues can be addressed.

EVEN MILD BRAIN INJURY CAN COMPROMISE DAILY FUNCTION. While the injured person appears "near normal," the survivor is NOT the same person, with the same old skills. He or she is a different person with different skills and frequently a different personality. This "new person" has to be "found" and encouraged to gain maximum function. It is interesting that some survivors whose injuries were severe, over time do improve to function at a mildly impaired level. It is also interesting that multiple mild injuries can compound damage to a more severe level. Presence of visible and/or physical symptoms do not rule out a relatively mild level of executive functioning.

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WHAT IS MILD BRAIN INJURY?


MILD brain injury has abnormal symptoms 20 minutes or less after a brain injury; unconsciousness or symptoms up to 24 hours is considered MODERATE. Mild Brain injury is an injury that does not attract a lot of medical attention. You do not have to be unconscious to get a brain injury. It is any brain-induced physical disruption of brain function, with one or more immediate (acute) symptoms:

  • Any loss of memory of events before or after trauma
  • Altered/changed/different mental state with trauma (dazed, confused, disoriented)
  • Any period of unconsciousness, less than 2 hours or especially less than 20 minutes. Less than 24 hours of Post Traumatic Amnesia (PTA)

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HOW DO I KNOW THE INJURY IS "MILD"?


Rate observations in the upper levels of coma scales:

Rancho Level of Cognitive Functioning

Level I - No response to stimulation
Level II - Generalized response to stimulation
Level III - Localized response to stimulation
Level IV - Confused, agitated behavior
Level V - Confused, inappropriate, non-agitated behavior
Level VI - Confused, appropriate behavior
Level VII - Automatic, appropriate behavior
Level VIII - Purposeful, appropriate behavior

Glasgow Coma Scale (Score at 30 minutes post-injury)

A score of 13-15 is Mild:
Eye openings
1 = no response
2 = to pain
3 = to voice
4 = spontaneously
Best Motor Response
4 = withdrawal to pain
5 = localized to pain
6 = follows commands
Best Verbal Response
1 = no response
2 = incomprehensible sounds
3 = inappropriate words
4 = disoriented but converses
5 = oriented and converses

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WHAT CAN CAUSE A BRAIN INJURY?


Most common causes of brain injury are the head being struck, or the head striking an object (Motor Vehicle Accidents, Recreational/sports accidents), falls (especially with children and elderly), near-drowning, surgical complications, tumors, degenerative/neurological disorders, assault, shaken-baby syndrome, the brain's sudden acceleration and deceleration movements (whiplash) without direct external head trauma and without loss of consciousness.     

Brain injury can be caused by trauma to the brain, or Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Some other diagnoses which are really brain injuries are: Concussion, Closed head injury, Contusion, Post-Traumatic Syndrome, Traumatic Cephalgia, a sudden "bad" headache (that won’t respond to treatment and gets worse over days), etc…

An Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is injury acquired after birth. It can also cause mild, moderate or severe levels of Brain Injury. Anoxia (lack of oxygen—near drowning, traumatic birthing, choking), strokes, surgery complication, encephalitis, drug interactions, Brain bleeds (hemorrhage/subdural hematomas, blood clots, aneurysms, and the like), high fevers, etc. Some diagnoses associated with Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) include: whiplash, concussion, vascular disruptions, anoxia, tumors, surgery, brain infection/trauma (TBI), etc.

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WHERE CAN I GET HELP?


THERE ARE 25 BRAIN INJURY SUPPORT GROUPS IN GEORGIA. These are listed on the Brain Injury Association of Georgia website. Click on the Links page of this website and choose the links that are closest to answering your questions. There is valuable information and contacts at every link. Three websites to begin your searching are:

Other sites on the Links page have valuable information/contacts; they are at differing levels of technical difficulty, so you can choose those that answer your concerns or questions best.

We hope your curiosity or concerns have been addressed. We encourage you to explore our website and links. Thank you for visiting our Mild Brain Injury Support Group website. Please visit again, and watch us grow.

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OTHER QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS?


Contact the MBISG coordinators:

Jim/Jean: (770) 612-0612 Email:
Jacques/Monique:   Email: