Critical Care Medicine. Head injury, Brain Damage & Polytrauma

Critical Care Medicine. Head injury, Brain Damage & Polytrauma

Critical care medicine or intensive care is a branch of medical science that is involved in diagnosis and management of life threatening conditions requiring sophisticated organ support and invasive monitoring. It can treat conditions such as complications from surgeries, infections, accidents, breathing problems etc. Several complications such as head injury, brain damage, polytruama, spinal cord injury etc, need intensive care. Handling such injuries without ICU care lead to a number of consequences including death.

Patients may need ICU care for instability of vital parameters (hypotension or hypertension), airway support including ventilator support, acute renal failure, cardiac arrhythmias or multi-organ failure. Patients can also be admitted to ICU for intensive and invasive monitoring, such as post major surgery. Key issues in ICU are bedsores, physiotherapy, psychological health and secondary infections.

Equipment that are commonly used in a critical care unit include intravenous tubes (IV), monitors, feeding tubes, breathing machines, catheters etc. An intensive care unit (ICU) or a critical care unit has breathing apparatus or ventilator as the most important life sustaining support.

Head injury, brain damage, polytrauma, etc. need intensive care and remediation. If you are looking for critical care services in India, Columbia Asia Hospital provides the highest level of facilities for critical care services. It has its branches at Bangalore, Kolkata, Mysore, Pune, Patiala, Ghaziabad etc.  In Bangalore, Columbia Asia Hospital has its branches at Hebbal, Whitefield and Yeshwanthpur.

Brain Damage and its Risks
Brain damage is destruction or degeneration of brain cells.

Brain damage can be broadly classified as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI). TBI is generally caused due to external blow to the head. On the other hand, ABI occurs at the cellular level. It is often associated with pressure on the brain. Mild brain injuries cause temporary problems such as headaches, confusion, nausea and memory problems.

On the other hand, a person exposed to severe head injuries might suffer from life-changing, cognitive mental and physical challenges. Severe head injuries might lead a person to coma or a persistent vegetative state. One should opt for critical care medicine and intensive care under such conditions.

Symptoms of Brain Damage
Brain damage can have multiple effects on a person and thus, it needs critical care. The damage is broadly classified under cognitive damage, perceptual damage, physical damage and behavioral damage. Brain damage can occur due to illness, injury or effects of medical treatment. Lack of oxygen supply to the brain, alcohol abuse, infection and accidents are common causes for brain damage.
  • Cognitive Brain Damage: The symptoms of cognitive brain damage include difficulty in processing information, difficulty in expressing thoughts, shortened attention span, memory loss, impaired decision making etc.
  • Perceptual Brain Damage: The symptoms of perceptual brain damage include change in vision, hearing abilities, inability to sense time, balancing issues, high sensitivity to pain etc.
  • Physical Brain Damage: The symptoms of physical brain damage include headaches, mental and physical fatigues, paralysis, tremors, sleep disorder, sensitivity to light, lack of consciousness etc. Critical care medicine and intensive care can be of great help.
  • Behavioral Brain Damage: The behavioral and emotion brain damage symptoms include impatience, irritability, aggressiveness, heightened or reduced emotional reactions, etc.
Intensive care becomes necessary in case of severe head injuries, which leads to coma or becomes life threatening. One may need support therapies, while suffering from brain damage, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychological therapy and speech therapy.

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