Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
What is mild traumatic brain injury?
Mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) occurs when someone loses consciousness for less than 20 minutes after being struck in the head. The person may not be able to remember being struck in the head for as long as 24 - 48 hours after the injury. Usually, the patient is in the hospital less than 48 hours or may not be hospitalized at all.
Who is affected by mild traumatic brain injury?
Over 6 million mild traumatic brain injuries occur each year.
What will my recovery be like after a MTBI?
Some people, but not all, will suffer a postconcussion syndrome. Postconcussion syndrome symptoms may include:
- A headache that doesn’t go away no matter what you do for it.
- Irritability/less able to handle frustration
- Forget things
- Have trouble paying attention
- Take longer to do what used to come easily
- Problems with sleep
- Trouble keeping track of many tasks at one time
Postconcussion syndrome may begin within days or weeks of the injury and may last for weeks to months following the injury. Most symptoms are gone within 6 months.
Can I resume my daily activities when I get home?
Ask your doctor when you can return to work/school as this is different for everyone. You and your doctor can make this decision together. However, there are some activities that you should NOT participate in such as:
- Contact sports (football, rugby, ice hockey, etc)
- Drinking alcohol
- Riding a bicycle or skating without a helmet
It is important to avoid a second brain injury because another brain injury could add to the effects on a person’s ability to handle daily life.
When should I call the doctor?
If you notice any of the above symptoms getting worse or if taking part in your normal activities is difficult, call your doctor. The doctor may order more tests or arrange for an occupational, physical or speech therapist to evaluate your thinking skills and ability to function in your life. The therapist(s) can suggest ways to improve your normal activities.
Where can I go to talk to other people who have suffered MTBI?
The Mild Brain Injury Resource network at Meriter Hospital meets the 3rd Thursday of every month at 7:00 pm in one of the cafeteria Conference Rooms (look for the signs). This group offers support and information to patients and families of those who have suffered an MTBI. Meriter Hospital is located at 202 South Park Street, Madison, Wisconsin. The phone number is (608) 267-6000.
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The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/26/2010
Copyright © 03/10/2010 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5304
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