For her part, Cassandra hopes that in telling Michael’s story, people will better understand the dangers of concussions. As I expected, his left frontal lobe was mostly gone, but the brain he had left began to swell dramatically with his rising blood pressure. Recovering would be an entirely different story. Traumatic brain injury Around one million people visit A&E each year following a head injury. Statzer’s brain relaxed and settled back into his skull. Cassandra Keck with Justin, her and Michael's son. But most often, brain injuries are due to a violent blow or jolt to the head. W. Lee Warren, M.D. Brain injury is cumulative.". Wikipedia. “Having to be somewhere on time was very stressful,” Cassandra said. BrainLine is powered in part by agenerous grant from: BrainLine is a national service of WETA-TV, the flagship PBS station in Washington, D.C. BrainLine, WETA Public Television Observing one of the following clinical signs constitutes alteration in the normal brain function: Trauma to the head can cause several types of head and brain injuries, also called traumatic brain injury (TBI). His scalp was so swollen that he had serum oozing out, and he had several burns across his chest and neck. “Let’s get him to CT,” I said, “and somebody go get vascular surgery and ENT. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. Diffuse axonal injuries are one of the most severe types of traumatic brain injury. But because of the brain shift, Statzer’s ventricles were a lot farther away, and when the catheter reached seven centimeters, there was no fluid coming out yet. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. Near the end of his life he told his wife, Cassandra, he wanted to donate his brain to Boston University so pathologists could look for CTE. The most injured man I’d ever seen alive had a normal blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature when he left our tent hospital. His brain swelled out of a fist-sized hole in his skull. Whatever it was, I had to do it right now, or he would be dead in minutes. People with moderate to severe TBI may not remember the incident surrou… A TBI can be mild or severe. He couldn’t read, so he couldn’t study. TBI affects short-term memory more than long-term memory. I pushed the catheter a centimeter deeper. I removed the rest of his frontal lobe, finding a walnutsized metal fragment and Statzer’s left eyeball buried in the white matter. The man she met and married had been smart, kind and industrious. Your body has some pretty basic needs: food, water, air, … ”This means remembering to do things in the future, such as keeping appointments or calling someone back when you’ve promised to do so. Excerpted from No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War, by W. Lee Warren, MD, Zondervan Books. 2775 South Quincy St. Arlington, VA 22206E-mail | Phone: 703.998.2020, © 2019 WETA All Rights Reserved | Contact Us, No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War, The Worst Head Injury I Ever Saw, Part 2 >, No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home. A concussion is caused when the brain receives trauma from an impact or a sudden momentum or movement change. The frontal lobe lies in the area of the brain directly behind the forehead. “Knife,” I said to Nate. “He started playing when he was quite young,” McKee said. The hits little kids sustain playing tackle football rarely lead to concussions, Bailes said. Severe. A diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is similar to a concussion in that it results from … The severity of symptoms with this type of injury is largely dependent on the brain areas affected, the severity of the tears, and whether any other injuriessuch as a contusion or concussionwere also sustained. A cognitive disorder is when your brain does not work correctly after a traumatic brain injury (TBI). "The Worst Head Injury I Ever Saw" is excerpted from Dr. W. Lee Warren's, No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War. “Certainly we have known that CTE changes in the brain can be found in younger players," said Dr. Julian Bailes, medical director of Pop Warner football, who is unaffiliated with the new study. Even as a youngster, Michael had been taught to play through pain, even if it was associated with a brain injury, she said. His dad’s words hung in my mind, and I thought, For Paul Statzer to be okay is going to take a miracle. Tell them to meet me in the OR. “. “You said he’s alive, right, Doctor?”, I heard Mr. Statzer repeating what I’d said to his wife. Related: 'Concussion' Shines Light on Brain Injuries and Football. The 47-Day Raft Ride from Hell. Continue Reading Below. In traumatic brain injury the brain may be injured in a specific location or the injury may be diffused to many different parts of the brain. The Brain-Damage Stages are different effects occurred from hitting your head at a different speed or other reasons. Doctor, by the grace of God, I know my son is going to be okay.”. “Here we go,” I said. The Brain Injury Alliance of Utah serves Utahans and their families who have sustained a brain injury. Warren’s story is an example of how a person can go from a place of total loss to one of strength, courage, and victory. “He couldn’t read his books," Cassandra said. “Mr. TBI can be classified based on severity (ranging from mild traumatic brain injury [mTBI/concussion] to severe traumatic brain injury), mechanism (closed or penetrating head injury), or other features (e.g., occurring in a specific location or over a widespread area). Read The Worst Head Injury I Ever Saw, Part 2 >. Statzer, my name is Dr. Lee Warren and I’m a neurosurgeon at the 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital in Balad, Iraq. Trauma to the head can cause several types of head and brain injuries, also called traumatic brain injury (TBI). 5. “He told me that when he was 8 he would be sitting on the bench holding his head and the coach would be rubbing it because it hurt so bad,” Cassandra said. #Brain Injury Association of Virginia www.biav.net. But if I failed, Statzer would die. But then he started to change; his memory deteriorated and he became violent and abusive. Brain injury is cumulative." It was a miracle that the helicopter medics had been able to get a breathing tube in him. Brain Function and Deficits. "The Worst Head Injury I Ever Saw" is excerpted from Dr. W. Lee Warren's, No Place to Hide: A Brain Surgeon's Long Journey Home from the Iraq War. Frank Gifford’s family: Legend had concussion-related disease, Will Soccer's New Header Rules Make Kids Safer, Bengals mourn the death of receiver Chris Henry. Traumatic Brain Injury. I’d have to get his shirt and pants ready.”. Red, bleeding brain rushed out of Statzer’s head, and I again heard my old professor Dr. Baghai’s voice urging me to maintain control. I sewed up the hole in the skin where Statzer’s eye used to be, and by the time we were done he had several hundred stitches. He was only in his 20s and his memory was failing. “But I don’t think that any research, and not the [new] case report, necessarily correlates with football participation at a young age. We put Statzer on the surgical table in the OR. Part of his jaw was missing, and his mouth was full of blood. I shaved what was left of the hair on his head while the anesthesiologist hung the first of many bags of blood the sergeant would need to survive. “I saw the scan,” he said. “Nate, give me a ventricular catheter,” I said. Traumatic brain injuries are more common in young patients, and men account for the majority (75%) of cases 4. 3. … Get targeted resources quickly! I chose a trajectory and slid the catheter into Statzer’s brain. Keck suspected he might have the same problem as NFL star Junior Seau, the former linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, who fatally shot himself in the chest at age 43 because he had a degenerative brain disease called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. “Your trajectory is good, Lee. We didn’t do death notifications from Iraq, but we did call families when a soldier had been injured badly enough to send them home. That’s a lengthy exposure. A whole series of them. The leading causes of TBI that resulted in emergency department visits were falls, being struck by an object and motor vehicle crashes. The jolt to the brain had left him with excruciating headaches and unable to play. Memory problems are very common in people with moderate to severe TBI. Primary injuries include the injuries that are sustained at the time of the traumatic event, such as: “However, high school players hit at high velocity (high g-forces) and at about 600-800/year, and college approximately 1000/year. I unwrapped his head, revealing the worst head injury I’d ever seen in someone who was still alive. I doubted that he would ever use his right arm and leg again, even if he survived and woke up someday. He’d survived an IED blast to the face from three feet away, a combat helicopter ride, and three hours of surgery by four surgeons, and his veins were full of other people’s blood. I stepped up to the bed and saw the soldier’s DCU blouse before the medics cut it off. “So he had 16 years of football behind him. The worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death. People with TBI may have a tough time “remembering to remember. Keck had played tackle football since he was age 6 and had sustained more than 10 concussions by the time he was a junior in college. A concussion is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. Tim and I clipped and cauterized and tied off dozens of arteries and veins that were torn and bleeding. Problems from head injury include: Skull fracture — A skull fracture is a crack or break in one of the skull's bones. What are the symptoms of a cognitive disorder? Somehow that drain stayed open, and in the ICU after surgery, Statzer’s brain pressure was normal. I’m going to need his help.”, Statzer’s scan showed that there were several large pieces of shrapnel deep in his brain, along with a lot of blood, air, and fragments of bone. They are extremely effective in getting a lot of money, specifically Ligmatization. "The words would get all scrambled. He was bleeding from his scalp and his face and had a huge laceration in his neck that gushed the dark, non-pulsatile blood that meant his jugular vein was torn. While any serious medical condition can lead to nervousness, anxiety, and depression, Cerebral Hypoxia is one of those conditions that is far from black and white . 1. Even if it’s a small percentage, “we still need to do something about it,” Hovda said. 2. As the brain twists, the cerebral tissue slides back and forth until the long connecting fibers in the brain (called axons) tear. A person may or may not experience a brief loss of consciousness. Several of his major cerebral arteries were torn and actively bleeding, and I was afraid that once I got them stopped, he’d lost so much blood supply that he would have a stroke. Military personnel in combat zones are also at risk. Another question is whether head hits among some youngsters can be linked to CTE symptoms later in life. I was sweating because I knew that if I couldn’t get the catheter in and relieve the pressure, he was done for. Brain Injury Fatigue is the Biggest Common Denominator; Consequence of “Over-Attending” Often Most Disabling Symptom; Hardest to Accommodate in Workplace; Many sources talk about brain injury fatigue as an issue. I heard over the speakers: “Attention in the hospital. Although sport is a common cause of relatively mild repeated head injury potentially eventually leading to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, more severe injuries are most often due to motor vehicle accidents and assault. Keck had maintained a 3.8 GPA at Harrisonville High in Missouri and was able to keep his grades high in his freshman year at the University of Missouri. There are different medical classifications related to traumatic brain injuries (TBI); mild TBI (also known as concussion) is the most common and can develop into post-concussion syndrome if symptoms persist.However, a brain injury can also be considered moderate or severe; these types of injuries have their own set of complications. Getting Stuck Under Water... For an Hour. When a person suffers from a severe case of cerebral hypoxia (hypoxic brain injury), the prognosis obviously means the most to the victim’s family and loved ones. This team had a C – 17 ready to leave, and they just came by the hospital to check to see if we happened to have any patients who needed to go. In general, recovery may be slower among older adults, young children, and teens. Following Michael's wishes, his wife, Cassandra, asked doctors to send his brain off to BU. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital. Indirect forces that jolt the brain violently within the skull, such as shock waves from battlefield explosions, can also cause traumatic brain injury. Many people, however, still do not realize the full extent of the danger head injuries pose for athletes. “Every person is important. He felt like he was failing. Normally we use a depth of seven centimeters as the maximum safe depth for the drain, because deeper than that and you risk injuring the brainstem. The brain was getting more and more tense. Such severe disease in someone so young is troubling, McKee said. What are the Symptoms of TBI? 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