Dr. Marianne Sturr is the medial director of the brain injury program at Bacharach Institute.
Each year in the United States, an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury. A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is any injury to the nerve cells of the brain.
There are three different kinds of traumatic brain injury:
Mild—A mild TBI is equivalent to a concussion. People who experience a mild TBI are not always knocked unconscious and 90 percent of mild TBIs do not show up on an MRI or CAT scan because the damage to the brain takes place at the cellular level. The signs and symptoms of a mild TBI are usually subtle changes which include tiredness, nausea, dizziness, and visual changes.
Moderate—People who experience a moderate TBI are usually unconscious for 24 hours but can recover who they are, where they are and what happened to them within a month. Recovery from a moderate TBI can last over a period of years and a full recovery is not guaranteed.
Severe—People who experience a severe TBI are usually unconscious for one to three weeks, and they will usually have to live with some sort of deficit for the rest of their lives.
“All brain injuries are different from one another,” said Dr. Marianne Sturr, a physician and the medical director of the Bacharach brain injury unit. “Treatment for each individual TBI depends on the severity of the injury and the deficits that the patient is experiencing.”
At Bacharach, patients recovering from a TBI are cared for by a team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, neuropsychologists, a doctor of physical medicine and other specialists. The medical team works together to address deficits of strength, balance, vision, cognition, mood and behavior.
“People who have experienced a TBI are much more susceptible to getting another,” said Dr. Sturr. “Traumatic brain injuries are extremely cumulative, especially if they are close together.”
While most traumatic brain injuries are accidents that are difficult to prevent, the risk of getting one can be minimized by wearing helmets and following safety guidelines and regulations for driving, bicycling, and playing sports.
To learn more about Bacharach’s traumatic brain injury program call 609-652-7000.