What is a traumatic brain injury?

Also known as: TBI, head injury and head trauma, brain injury.

TBI is an injury to the brain from direct or indirect physical force to the head and/or brain. Blunt TBI is from an impact with another object, whereas penetrating TBI occurs when typically a bullet or spear-like object pushes through the skull and penetrates the brain. TBI is further classified based on initial severity and duration of depression of consciousness using the Glasgow Coma Scale. Although less than ideal, the GCS score usually correlates with outcome, with higher scores associated with better outcome. Concussion falls in the “mild” TBI category, although as many have said, “there is nothing mild about concussion.”


Reviewed by: John W Kuluz, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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