The purpose of this paper is to complete research to grasp a better understanding for TBI. TBI stands for traumatic brain injury. This subject can encompass so many facets. TBI affects thousands of people and their families every year. It can be as mild as a concussion, with no long-term lasting effects, or as extreme as the patient slipping into a coma and not waking up. The brain does not heal the same as other parts of the body. Some people return to full function, while others never remain the same. Speech, language, mood swings, and forgetfulness are common symptoms of most brain injuries. These are symptoms that most TBI patients have no matter what part of the head was injured. I am completing this research for myself and my family. My brother in law was injured on August 24th of this year. Through education we can have a better grip on what it is happening with a traumatic brain injury patient, this will give my family the tools to help us deal with this tragedy.
My brother in law was called over to a neighbor’s house to help get an item down from the rafters of her garage. He is always happy to help, so he agreed and walked across the street to help. He went over wearing flip flops and shorts. He got into the rafters and before he could get his balance, he slipped and fell. He hit his head on the way down and then again on the concrete. We received a frantic knock on the door by a screaming neighbor telling us Steven had fallen and was unconscious. She was currently on the phone with 911. We ran across the street only to find him face down and to my surprise not bleeding. In my LPN training I have learned that heads are very vascular and tend to bleed profusely when injured. The panic set in when I processed that the blood had to be somewhere after falling from sixteen feet high. He came to and wanted to get up off the ground even after we advised him to stay still. My husband and I got him up and sat him in a chair, he proceeded to wipe his eyes over and over. The ambulance arrived and whisked him away to a small hospital near us, however he was only there long enough to get a CT scan and the hospital realizing they were not equipped to care for him. He was then airlifted to Grant Trauma Center in Columbus. Grant Trauma Center is approximately one hour and thirty minutes from our home. We rushed home to gather clothing knowing we were in for a long night. My husband and his brother are one year apart and are very close, there was not a moment thought about us, only Steven. Over the next twenty-one days everyone’s life changed. We spent countless hours at the trauma center listening to many healthcare professionals take turns giving us reports and updates. They would roll their computers in and stand in a semi-circle while one representative talked and gave us the news. His occipital lobe was injured in the fall, this lobe of the brain controls your vision. He was continually wiping his eyes because he couldn’t understand why he could not see. He also presented with five brain bleeds, and three cranial fractures. He was not aware of his name or where he was or what was happening, he was only aware that he was in tremendous pain. As the days and weeks went on Steven was able to recite his name, he learned how to brush his teeth, eat, and walk again, and all very quickly according to the doctors. We were so hopeful and so grateful for this turn out. What we were not aware of is how life would be after we brought him home. There have been several changes that have happened with my brother in law. He is irrational and impulsive, to extremes some days. Through everything each discipline knew what was happening with the other. Each was armed with the information via Electronic Medical Record Documentation. The CT scan or the MRI could be viewed from the rolling computers that each had. Also, the notes that each neurologist, nurse, and therapist had entered was able to be seen at any time. Can you imagine how long the delay in care for each professional would have been if they did not have instant access to each other’s notes and to the patients’ medical records?
We currently take Steven to the professionals from Grant Trauma Center in Columbus approximately once a week depending on which doctor he needs to see. There is no need to explain what we need or what happened. Everyone can access the computer and see all issues. Without this technology I cannot imagine what an extra nightmare this would always be.
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