So what exactly is ABI?
and the iron rod
|Helmets prevent ABI|
What are the effects of ABI?
"Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write."This inability to be able to say what you mean to say, or form the right words, or sentences, can become very frustrating for the patient. And their closest. It can have a major impact on their rehabilitation and recovery.
There is also Ataxia, which according to the Ataxia UK,
"Ataxia’ is an umbrella term for a group of neurological disorders that affect balance, coordination and speech. There are many different types of ataxia that affect people in different ways. "One of the more challenging aspects of these patients care in my view is something called "Cognitive Fatigue". This is where a patient gets more tired and has greater difficulty in concentrating on things that they used to be able to do with ease prior to their injury. This can lead to fluctuation in their mood and difficulties with their emotions and behaviour. Thankfully with the right support, and right support network this can be overcome through intensive rehabilitation.
post head injury is epilepsy. Epilepsy is a category of neurological disorders that are defined by epileptic seizures. These seizures can come in many forms such as:
- tonic-clonic seizures, also known as grand mal.
- focal seizures
- Absences seizures
- Atonic seizures, also known as drop attacks
These seizures can be short and only happen once, or they can be long and come upon in groups. Typically these are brought upon due to external triggers, such as flickering lights, environmental noises, poor diet (for example badly managed diabetes or excessive amount of stimulants like caffeine and sugar) etc. But with patients who have ABI, they more often occur due to internal triggers such as lack of sleep, stress, emotional excitement and boredom. Those who have ABI tend to be put on anti-epileptic medication prophylactically in order to prevent them from having seizures. Most seizures tend to be self-terminating but carers and family need to have rescue medicines such as buccolam, which is an oral solution, or rectal diazepam in order to cut those seizures short, especially if the patient has had more than the one seizure. Then there is Status Epilepticus, this is a seizure that lasts for longer than five minutes. It is an emergency situation often requiring intensive care input. The prognosis for patients who suffer from status epilepticus is not good, between 10%-30% of those who are diagnosed with it die within a month. Hence the need for speedy treatment, with optimisation of their medications and daily routines, such as strict sleeping regimes.
As can be read this is a very big topic to write about, and there are issues that I have not touched upon. As I have mentioned frequently, this is a major global health concern. It has a multi-faceted impact. It does not just impact on the patient who suffers from the injury, it also affects their friends and family. But not just that due to the disability that comes with it and given the age it occurs most commonly, it can also affect the larger economy. The rehabilitation can take months if not years if they were in employment they will either have to take a long period off in order to return or never return at all. There is a definite need for more centres that provide rehabilitation and treatment for ABI, and this can only be beneficial to everyone. Not just those directly affected.
For further information, I wholeheartedly recommend an organization called Headway who dedicate themselves solely to those who are affected by head injuries.