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3 Questions About Traumatic Brain Injury

Frequently Asked Questions About Traumatic Brain Injury


Updated January 24, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Traumatic brain injury is in the news a lot more than it used to be. We now know that concussions are much more common than we realized, especially in contact sports and on the battlefields.

Below are some of the most common questions I hear about traumatic brain injury. If your question isn't covered, contact me. I'll be happy to answer your question and add it to the list.

1. Do victims of head injury have to stay awake?

Bystanders and lay rescuers at accidents are greatly concerned with keeping victims with a head injury awake after an accident. They're worried the victim may have a traumatic brain injury. The belief is that if allowed to fall asleep, the victim will die. Is it necessary to keep victims of head injury from slipping into unconsciousness?

2. What Is "Talk and Die Syndrome?"

I must confess: Before the skiing accident that killed Natasha Richardson, I'd never heard the term "talk and die syndrome." It just isn't a term used by the caregivers I work with. The first time I read it however, I knew it described a type of traumatic brain injury known as an epidural hematoma.

3. Is a concussion the same thing as a traumatic brain injury?

At a peewee football practice, a parent approached to ask me about concussions. She had heard the term traumatic brain injury on a TV show about combat injuries, and asked me if concussions and traumatic brain injuries are the same thing.
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