What Causes an ABI?
19 November, 2021
An acquired brain injury refers to any form of brain damage that occurs after birth. The severity of an acquired brain injury can vary. Some causes include alcohol or drugs, certain diseases, physical injury, lack of oxygen, or stroke.
Alcohol & drugs
Excessive use of alcohol and drugs can cause destruction or alteration of different cells in the brain. These cell changes may then result in seizures, respiratory arrest, hypoxic brain injury, or any other form of acquired brain injury.
Alcohol and drug use contain toxins that can have neurotoxic effects when abused regularly. Taking these substances at high doses for a prolonged period of time can increase your risk of suffering from acquired brain injuries.
Neurodegenerative diseases cause your brain and nerves to lose function as time passes. They can destroy your brain’s tissue and nerves, and also cause confusion and personality changes. Common diseases that can cause an acquired brain injury include:
Neurodegenerative diseases cause permanent damage, but treatment can still help. It assists in reducing symptoms and maintaining quality of life.
Physical injury & trauma
One of the more common causes of an acquired brain injury is physical injury, or trauma to the brain. An acquired brain injury can occur when the head suddenly and violently hits an object, or when an object pierces the skull and hits brain tissue. This is known as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Examples of TBIs include:
Assaults / blows to the head
Motor vehicle accidents
Lack of oxygen
The brain needs a continuous supply of oxygen to survive. If this is interrupted, brain function is immediately distributed and can result in irreversible damage to the brain, known as an acquired brain injury. This is known as anoxic brain injury.
Anoxic brain injury can be caused by a number of different causes, such as cardiac arrest, choking, strangulation, electric shock, or drowning. It can be difficult to assess the damage done after an acquired brain injury is obtained in this way, but different factors such as age, duration of the anoxic episode, and duration of coma can all be taken into consideration.
A stroke occurs when your brain can’t get enough oxygen and nutrients, predominantly because of a blood clot or sudden bleeding, which reduces blood supply. This lack of oxygen to the brain is what can result in an acquired brain injury.
Long term complications from a stroke include:
Weakness or lack of movement in the limbs
Difficulty speaking, swallowing, reading or writing
Cognitive, sensory and perceptual issues
How can Focus Care help?
Focus Care is a leading provider of at-home care services and acquired brain injury services, offering support through the NDIS, Home Care Packages, and privately. We take the time to get to know each client individually, their family, their lifestyle, and their needs. We work with your strengths to provide support, tailored to your preferences.
Home care services for Acquired Brain Injuries
Some disability home care services that can help improve the quality of life for someone living with an ABI include:
Social support to assist with communication and socialisation skills
Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy to assist with mobility
Medication management to administer pain medication
Transport to get to and from appointments
Shopping, meal preparation and cleaning, which can be challenging activities for someone living with an ABI
Personal care if the Acquired Brain Injury makes managing hygene challenging
As specialists in the Montessori Method, we can assist with memory recall and cognitive decline.
Focus Care offers these services through NDIS, Home Care Packages or privately to people living in Sydney, Melbourne, the Sunshine Coast, Newcastle Hunter region and Armidale. If you or a loved one are looking for support for an acquired brain injury, contact us today to see how we can help.
Brain Awareness Week 2022
In 2022, Brain Awareness Week is 14-18 March. The Brain Foundation has some wonderful resources to highlight brain diseases, disorders and injuries and Focus Care can highly recommend visiting their website for more information.