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What complications can stem from a traumatic brain injury?

If you experience any type of serious accident in southern California, there is a chance that you could suffer a traumatic brain injury. 

Once in the ER, doctors often have their hands full treating the various medical problems that can arise immediately following your trauma. According to BrainLine, not all complications occur with every TBI; however, they are potentially life-threatening. 

Stroke from vascular damage 

Head trauma often damages more than just brain tissue; for example, cranial blood vessels. Damage to an artery in the brain can lead to bleeding or clotting. These conditions prevent oxygen from reaching the brain tissue and can result in permanent damage. 

Clots, or thromboses, are not always immediately apparent. Symptoms may appear within a few days like vomiting, partial paralysis and severe headaches that could indicate a blood clot. 

Acute stage hydrocephalus 

Hydrocephalus usually occurs sometime within a year of the injury, but can also appear immediately. This is when cerebrospinal fluid pools in brain cavities, causing a rise in intracranial pressure. Hydrocephalus can have a detrimental effect on recovery, and doctors must perform procedures to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure. 

Immediate and early seizures 

Immediate seizures are those which arise in the first 24 hours following the TBI. Almost half of TBI victims with penetrating brain injuries and one-quarter of those with closed head trauma will develop seizures. Immediate seizures can make early seizures, which occur in the first week, more likely. 

Complications from skull fractures 

The bone fragments from skull fractures can damage cranial nerves and membranes. Fractures that are close to the brainstem might damage the nerves leading to the front of the head, causing facial paralysis. 

When the membrane that surrounds the brain tears, cerebrospinal fluid can collect under the skin or leak from openings such as the ears and nose. These tears can also allow bacteria to enter the brain cavity, increasing the risk of infections. 

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