Brain Injury

Also known as: Traumatic brain injury (TBI), acquired brain injury, primary and secondary brain injury

What is a brain injury?

Traumatic brain injury or Primary injury to the brain occurs after a direct blow to the head which results in a diminished function of the brain. It can cause bruising of the brain or bleeding on or in the brain tissue. Secondary injury develops in minutes to weeks after the initial (primary) insult from a number of processes (including a low blood pressure and lack of oxygen to the brain) that over time can lead to brain cell damage.


What causes brain injury?

In infants, child abuse is the commonest cause of brain injury. In older children and adolescents, falls, bicycle - related injuries, motor vehicle collisions and assaults are the leading causes.


What are the symptoms of brain injury?

Symptoms vary widely depending on the age, type and severity of brain injury and may occur immediately or days later. They may include sleepiness, loss of consciousness, convulsions, vomiting or nausea, fatigue, headache, problems with balance, attention and concentration problems, issues with memory, emotion and behavior, among others.


What are brain injury care options?

Treatment will also vary based on severity. Minimal injury may just require rest and observation. For more severe brain trauma, making sure that the child can breath, is well oxygenated and his blood pressure is maintained is important; management after that may require a team of Surgical, Medical and Intensive care Specialists to provide optimum care. Long term services involving many Rehabilitation Specialists may be needed. Nicklaus Children's Hospital, as a designated Pediatric Trauma Center has all the Specialists and facilities to provide for the full range of short and long term services needed.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 9:29:06 AM


Upcoming Events

2nd Annual Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Sports Health Symposium

Longevity in Sports Performance, Considerations from Elementary to Post Professional

This course will give the athletic trainer and physical therapist an overview of athletic development models and orthopedic/rehabilitative management of several conditions that influence athletic performance.

Learn more.

Weekly Support Programs

​Swimming Lessons

Knowing how to swim saves lives. Swimming and water safety lessons are offered by a trained instructor for babies as young as 6 months to adolescents under 21 years old. Learn more.

Brain Wellness: Yoga for Kids

Participants will learn to optimize neurological potential across the developing age and care continuum, to provide other treatment modalities to optimize results, to provide options for our patients and families, to provide options for our patients and families, and more! Learn more.

Yoga for Kids

Yoga is a great way to get children active in a non- competitive environment. This one-day-a-week class is available for patients currently receiving therapy at one of our Nicklaus Children’s outpatient center locations, their siblings and children residing in our community. Learn more.

From the Newsdesk

Mason's Story: Nicklaus Children's Makes the Difference for Child with Traumatic Brain Injury
Seeing a baby boy intubated, hooked up to a maze of machines, and with IV pumps snaking out of his tiny arms is an incredibly heartbreaking and terrifying experience. The Nicklaus Children’s staff was not only caring and friendly, but knowledgeable and explained everything to us in detail. Meeting the neurosurgery team brought us great comfort because they were confident and calm—they won our trust immediately.
Talkin' Kids Health: Individual Education Plans
Learn about Individual Education Plans with Dr. Reshma Naidoo, Neuropsychologist and Neurorehabilitation Specialist at Nicklaus Children's Hosptial.