Therapy: key to treating traumatic brain injuries Therapy: key to treating traumatic brain injuries

The high number of recorded traffic accidents in Colombia has made traumatic brain injuries one of the most common medical conditions of its population; on average, this injury affects 200 of every 100,000 inhabitants. 

This figure was confirmed in a report published by the Universidad de La Sabana Clinic. The report stated that depending on the specific type of trauma, in some cases people may recover and return to how they previously functioned. In other more serious cases, people may need to change their job duties, how they study or may even require permanent care.

“Statistics show that with traumatic brain injuries, 70% of patients manage to recover, 9% of die prior to arriving to the hospital, 6% die while hospitalized and 15% live with effects that moderately or seriously change how they operate or that leave them in a vegetative state,” explains the director of the hospital facility, Juan Guillermo Ortiz.

After a traumatic brain injury, rehabilitation is fundamental in order to have a smoother recovery. Both the person affected by the injury and their family play a very important role in the recovery process. The family must commit to the intensity, frequency and structure of therapy which is established depending on the severity of the trauma and the degree to which the patient’s motor, sensory or neurological skills and systems are affected.

How quickly patients are treated is also a factor in their prognosis. If the brain does not receive oxygen during an incident, this can exhaust its energy reserves and lead to progressive neuronal injury. “With sudden injuries, the pressure in the cranium builds rapidly. This is when cerebral edemas, severe hydrocephalus and intracranial hematomas can occur. This is when immediate intervention is necessary in order to control brain damage and of course, attempt to recover the brain’s normal physiology,” the expert explains.