Traumatic Brain Injury (Pediatric)

What is traumatic brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury results from head trauma caused by mechanical force, such as a motor vehicle accident, significant fall, sports collision, or gunshot to the head. TBI is the most common cause of death and disability in children ages 1 to 4 and teenagers ages 15 to 19.

The severity of this condition ranges from a concussion to a serious brain injury. Diagnosis is based on the length of time children have been unconscious and on their visual, verbal, and motor responses. Our physiatrists help to diagnose, treat, and coordinate care for these patients.

How is traumatic brain injury diagnosed?

Mild traumatic brain injury may not be diagnosed until the child begins to have problems completing routine tasks or dealing with ordinary social situations.

The results of a traumatic brain injury​ are poor concentration, aggressive behavior, emotional swings, depression, decreased arousal or ability to concentrate, difficulty communicating, cognitive decline, apraxias (inability to perform a particular tasks), headache, and insomnia.

Other complications are bladder and bowel incontinence, muscle weakness or paralysis, sensation loss, and muscle stiffness. These conditions may be treated in the hospital or in an outpatient setting.

Pain is especially difficult to evaluate in children with traumatic brain injury. We work with patients and their families to diagnose pain stemming from a blow to the head and related fractures, sprains, nerve damage, soft tissue injuries, infection as well as bowel or bladder disorders and wounds.

What is the treatment for traumatic brain injury?

Early intervention in children can lead to impressive improvements in their ability to perform daily activities and have greater independence and a better quality of life. It can also prevent permanent damage.

Children with traumatic brain injury and their families face many challenges in the recovery period. Our goal is to help our patients get back to their favorite activities as soon as possible. Our team provides critical support from the time of injury through the critical care stage, hospital rehabilitation, and follow-up period.