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Traumatic Brain Injury and Acquired Brain Injury- Knowing the Difference

Posted on in Stress Awareness

Broadway Medical joins the country in recognizing March as National Brain Injury Awareness Month. 


What used to be called “head injury” has been better named “brain injury” and even more specifically divided into two categories; Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and the more recent Acquired Brain Injury (ABI). While there are many similarities, these two injuries are also

very different.

A Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head, a penetrating head injury or a rapid acceleration or deceleration of the head. Concussions are considered mild head injuries and there is more and more talk about the long-lasting impact of concussions in sports.  There are many cause of TBI and the level of damage from any of these causes can vary greatly.

The leading causes of TBI include:

  • Falls (the leading cause in small children and adults over age 75)
  • Motor vehicle crashes
  • Assaults/Fights (including domestic assaults)
  • Sports-related concussions
  • Near drowning
  • Failed suicide attempts
  • Shaken Baby Syndrome

People serving combat roles in the military are at a much higher risk of TBI. Studies show that 19 percent of returning active duty veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have TBIs from blasts, motor vehicle accidents, helicopter crashes or gunshot wounds. TBI is being called the signature injury of the latest war.

An Acquired Brain Injury or ABI takes place at the cellular level within the brain, has occurred after birth and is not hereditary, congenital or degenerative. While the end results are very similar to TBI, there are differences in their origin.

The Leading causes of ABI include:

  • Strokes
  • Aneurysms
  • Diseases, such as encephalitis

A TBI or ABI can happen to almost anyone at almost any age. The degree of recovery from either of these injuries depends greatly on the severity of the injury and the age of the person when the injury occurs.  Broadway Medical carries a variety of medical equipment and supplies that can aid in the recovery of a TBI or ABI. Please visit Broadway Medical’s online catalog to learn more.