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Head Trauma rehabilitation

Head Trauma rehabilitation

A head trauma of any degree can disrupt normal brain functions and even if it does not mean an immediate life threat, it can damage cognitive, locomotor functions or impair psychological state.

Immediate treatment of even a mild degree head injury is essential to restore the patient’s neural functions, however in severe cases lengthy and comprehensive head trauma rehabilitation is required to treat long-term damages. 

After the injury is treated and the patient’s condition is stabilized, acute inpatient rehabilitation takes place to be able to discharge the patient with all essential functions working and start outpatient rehabilitation and community integration.

Head trauma rehabilitation implies a multidisciplinary approach to address complex brain impairments. The procedure involves a variety of health care workers specialized in rehabilitation medicine:

  • Psychiatrists and neuropsychologists treat cognitive and behavioral anomalies.
  • Physical therapists are responsible for improving coordination, flexibility and balance in patients with movement impairment.
  • Occupational therapists are in charge of preparing patients for the challenges of everyday life tasks.
  • Speech therapists enhance communicative abilities, mainly articulation.
  • Nurses
  • Counselors assist patients’ re-assimilation to work or school, provide motivation and encourage patients towards new life goals.

It is imperative for family members to keep track of the head injury rehabilitation as during outpatient reahbilitation they have to be aware of the patient’s challenges. The family ensure direct care, emotional support and can provide indispensable personal information about the patient’s personal traits and behaviour patterns.

Ideally, head trauma rehabilitation is personalized, taking into consideration the injury, the unique needs and goals of the subject.

As soon as patients do not require 24 hour medical care but there is still a long way to go in the recovery, they can move on to a sub-acute care unit, which aims to reintegrate their patients into family and community life. Patients with low recovery prospects or who will need lifelong rehabilitation usually reside in a medical facility and receive community integrated rehabilitation.