Recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex neurological process. Severe injuries commonly result in a wide range of impaired consciousness. Consciousness refers often to a person’s awareness of self and their interactions with their environment. Mild injuries may sometimes cause brief timeframes of impaired consciousness such as confusion or disorientation. However, severe injuries may have a period of time whereby they have complete unconsciousness and no awareness of themselves or the world around them. Terms such as Coma, Vegetative State, Minimal Conscious State, Emerging Consciousness and Post-Traumatic Confusion or Post Traumatic Amnesia are often used by professionals caring for your family member but can be confusing to understand.
This video presentation is intended to demonstrate general patterns of improving consciousness and cognition following severe TBI. In this video, you may learn basic anatomy of TBI and what happens behaviorally step-by-step with improving consciousness. Your family member may not follow this sequence exactly and may skip steps depending on their more specific type of injury. Furthermore, as consciousness improves your family member may also have different types of impairments in their thinking abilities, referred to as Cognition. This presentation will highlight a step wise sequence of improving cognition and offer you as family members helpful suggestions on how to better assist your loved one during the rehabilitation process.