Brittany’s parents have just been driven to the hospital by the police officer, because they are hysterical and unable to drive themselves. After being in the ED for an hour, Brittany is still drifting in and out of consciousness. The ED physician determines, using her Glasgow Coma Scale result of nine, her CT scans and X-rays, that Brittany has suffered moderate traumatic brain injury (MTBI). In addition to her brain injury, she has also suffered an injury to her sixth thoracic vertebrae (T6); which has caused a loss of mobility in her legs. The good news is that Brittany does not have a complete break and she is able to move her upper body; however it is still unknown if she will regain full mobility of her legs again. Since Hitech Medical Center is a Level 1 Trauma Center, Brittany is fortunate to be treated here. A Level 1 Trauma Center increases a seriously injured patient’s chance of survival by an estimated 20–25 percent.

The ED physician explains to her parents that Brittany needs life saving brain surgery. Prior to surgery, Brittany’s head will be shaved. The neurosurgeon will cut through Brittany’s scalp to remove a section of skull so that he can access her brain. This will allow the surgeon to perform one or all of the following:

  1. Internet Research: Define traumatic brain injury.

  2. Review the Video: Watch the short video below on the contrecoup movement of Brittany’s brain during the accident. What potential problem can you see?

  3. Internet Research: Brittany may face other complications from her brain injury, besides losing consciousness. Provide a brief explanation of each of the areas listed below: