A brain injury that happens after birth and is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative is known as an Acquired Brain Injury or ABI for short. Acquired brain injuries include both traumatic and non-traumatic brain injuries.
Traumatic brain injury
A traumatic brain injury or TBI for short, is any injury to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal functioning of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the brain result in a traumatic head injury. These injuries are usually serious and common causes include road traffic accidents, falls or assaults.
These injuries can be categorised as mild, moderate or severe. A TBI can be both an open head injury or closed head injury. Usually with a TBI, damage occurs immediately due to the forces exerted on the brain. In most cases, a brain swelling occurs. Since the brain is encased by the skull, swelling in one area can result in pressure or damage to surrounding areas of the brain.
Skull fractures can occur without damage to the underlying brain and the bone itself will heal over time. But if there is damage to the brain beneath the fracture, further treatment may be required.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury resulting from an impact blow to the head or body which causes the brain to shift, shake or rotate.
Non-traumatic brain injury
When most people think of brain injuries, they usually think of a blow to the head or some sort of impact like a car accident. But you can have a brain injury that is non-traumatic because it happens inside the body affecting the brain.
The most common cause of non-traumatic brain injuries that we see in our services are from stroke and brain tumours. Other causes include oxygen deprivation following cardiac arrest, meningitis, brain infections like encephalitis or toxic injury.