Doctors That Treat Traumatic Brain Injuries

Posted on April 2, 2020

Head injuries are the most common cause of disability and death in adults worldwide. The number of people suffering from head injuries is dramatically increasing due to falls, accidents, sports injuries or violence. TBI is caused due to the jarring of the brain against the sides of the skull that can cause shearing of the internal lining, tissues and blood vessels. This can lead to internal bleeding, bruising and swelling of the brain.

Most moderate to severe brain injuries require that the patient be treated by multiple physicians to maximize their quality of life. Health care professionals to treat physical injury and those that treat emotional injuries, both are equally important in helping a TBI sufferer lead a satisfactory lifestyle. Most brain injury patients require long term treatment and some may even require lifetime rehabilitations.

Physical injuries can be treated by the following doctors

A neurosurgeon operates on the brain and works to restore oxygen supply and stop bleeding to minimize damage to the brain, blood vessels, nerves and the rest of the body. In a medical emergency, these are the first line of physicians along with a neurologist, who usually make a diagnosis of the TBI’s patient’s condition. A neurologist monitors the patient for seizures or headaches and orders tests like EEG, CT scan or MRI to assess the extent of damage and prescribe medications. These diagnostic tests are usually carried out by radiologists and nurses who interact between the doctors and patients.

Plastic surgeons: Car accident and victims of physical violence may develop scars and disfigurements. To improve physical appearance, and make patients feel good about themselves, a plastic surgeon can do wonders. 

Rehabilitation therapist that can help TBI patients include

Occupational therapist: help the patient with day to day activities like getting dressed, personal hygiene, adapting to the environment and building physical and cognitive skills.

Vocational therapist: help patients get back to work or school and help locate jobs and school programs for their patients.

Recreational therapist: help TBI victims to rediscover their hobbies and social life.

Physical therapist: helps the patient with physical movement of body parts and with walking and lifting objects as patients with brain injury usually lose muscle strength and fine motor skills.

Speech and language pathologists: help patients learn to talk and communicate again. They help patients with memory, reading and writing.

To treat emotional injuries, these doctors can be of help

A psychiatrist plays an important role in developing strategies to combat the damage caused to the brain after a TBI. They also counsel family members who want to help their loved ones with behavioral and emotional problems. They can even prescribe medicines to patients who are agitated or depressed. A psychologist can lend a good ear to TBI patients if not medicines, to cope with emotional difficulties. 

TBI sufferers may also require the services of the following health professionals

A nutritionist can help with planning a healthy diet according to the special requirements of the victim.

An ENT specialist can assess and treat the victim’s ability to hear, smell or speak depending on the extent of the injury, and also help with sinus infections.

An ophthalmologist aids with restoring and correcting vision defects which may be common in head blows.

Internal medicine doctors may be required to treat kidneys, spleen and other body parts that may need repair.