Experts deem traumatic brain injuries 'national crisis', say delay in treating cases 'alarming'

Statistics show that more than one million people in India suffer from TBIs each year, with around 1,00,000 fatalities reported annually.

Published: 27th July 2023 12:24 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th July 2023 12:24 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for illustrative purposes only. (Photo | Pixabay)


NEW DELHI: Delays in treating traumatic brain injury rank among the top causes of disability and mortality in the country, senior doctors said while highlighting the critical need for timely medical intervention.

Recent statistics from the Union health ministry revealed that TBI accounts for approximately 10 per cent of all injury-related deaths in the country.

Reports of TBI-related deaths due to delayed treatment have raised alarms and highlighted the importance of immediate attention, experts said.

A traumatic brain injury or TBI is usually caused by a blow or other traumatic injury to the head or body, according to experts.

Dr Manish Vaish, Senior Director of Neurosurgery at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Vaishali, said TBI is a "national crisis" that demands collective action and the prevalence of delayed treatment in such cases is alarming.

"Time is of the essence when it comes to traumatic brain injuries. Every minute counts and delays in medical care can lead to devastating consequences for the patient," Vaish said.

"It is crucial for individuals who have sustained head injuries, no matter how seemingly mild, to seek medical attention promptly," he added.

According to the health ministry, TBI is a leading cause of disability and mortality across all regions of India. Statistics show that more than one million people in India suffer from TBIs each year, with around 1,00,000 fatalities reported annually.

Dr Yashpal Singh Bundela, senior consultant at Brain and Spine Ppl, New Delhi, highlighted the impact of timely access to healthcare services on TBI outcomes.

"The burden of traumatic brain injuries is significant in India. Access to timely neurosurgical interventions can make a substantial difference in patient outcomes."

"Neurosurgery plays a vital role in addressing severe TBI cases where surgery becomes a necessity to treat bleeding or bruising within the brain. One of the established surgical procedures used in India for such cases is Decompressive Craniectomy," he said.

"This procedure involves the careful removal of a portion of the skull to alleviate intracranial pressure and prevent further injury in patients with severe TBI," the doctor said.

Dr Vaish said a decompressive craniectomy is a powerful tool in the arsenal against traumatic brain injuries. By reducing intracranial pressure, secondary injuries can be prevented while increasing the chances of survival and recovery. "However, the success of this procedure greatly depends on timely access to the right medical care," he said.

Education is the key to saving lives in TBI cases. Providing the right information can help individuals recognise the urgency of head injuries and take swift action. Every moment counts in these critical situations, and prompt action can be lifesaving, Dr Vaish asserted.

With the combined efforts of medical professionals, institutions, and informed citizens, there is hope in the battle against traumatic brain injuries, the doctors said.

"Remember, in the event of a head injury, do not hesitate to seek medical attention immediately -- early treatment can be a life-saving measure. Together, we can make a significant difference and protect our communities from the devastating impact of traumatic brain injuries," he said.


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