According to the CDC, about 1.7 million people receive treatment for some degree of traumatic brain injury (TBI) on an annual basis in the U.S. Thousands of these victims are diagnosed with a “severe” brain injury, which is the most serious category of TBI. Severe brain injuries are unique in that the effects and complications can last for years. They even may be permanent. The following are only some of the long-term complications that can accompany severe brain injuries.
Coma – One sign of a severe brain injury is the loss of consciousness for an extended period of time. Victims can be comatose for days or weeks and may require time in the intensive care unit (ICU). In some tragic cases, a victim of a severe TBI may never fully regain consciousness.
Surgery – Another common yet dangerous complication of a severe TBI is increased intracranial pressure due to swelling of the brain or fluid buildup inside the skull. In some situations, doctors may need to operate to remove part of the skull to relieve pressure. In addition, they may insert a pressure monitor in the brain to identify when additional complications may be occurring.