Essay on Loss of Consciousness from Brain Injury Versus Amnesia

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Loss of Consciousness from Brain Injury Versus Amnesia

Brain injuries have been traditionally classified as mild, moderate and severe based upon the duration of loss of consciousness and memory. More recently these classifications have been reconsidered based upon the length and severity of amnesia (4).. How can you measure loss of consciousness and memory? How does the length of amnesia better predict the severity of a brain injury versus the traditional method of classifying brain injury based upon the length of loss consciousness? Head trauma is by far the most common cause of amnesia, but the condition often goes unrecognized as patients more serious medical problems become the foremost concern (3).. Traumatic amnesia is brain
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In order for a brain injury victim to answer such a question, they would have to undergo extensive examination recollecting past events (3).. Any change in mental state can be significant in understanding a patient's condition and if loss of memory (amnesia) occurred immediately before or after the trauma (4)..

In response to trauma, changes may occur in the brain, which require extensive monitoring to prevent further damage. The brain's size could increase after a severe head injury. Brain swelling occurs when there is an increase in the amount of blood to the brain caused by leakage from blood vessels. The more damage the brain receives, the more it swells. When the brain swells, because it is housed inside the skull, it has no room to expand (2).This leads to a rise in pressure within the brain, therefore affecting the blood flow to the brain. This excessive swelling and pressure in the brain is called "Intracranial Pressure." Strong medications are used to help draw fluid back out of the brain and back into its respective blood vessels. Many medications can help by decreasing the "metabolic requirements" of the brain, while other medications increase blood flow into the brain which can help diminish the "spiral effect" caused by brain swelling. In some cases, removal of small amounts of fluids from the brain or surgery may be beneficial and in other cases, removal of damaged tissue may prevent further damage (2).

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