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How to Handle Traumatic Brain Injury and the ICU

How to Handle Traumatic Brain Injury and the ICU


If you have a loved one that is in the ICU due to a traumatic brain injury, you might feel as if you have been forgotten. After all, you are scared and fearful for what the future might hold. It might be your child, a spouse, or a sibling. No matter who it is, you have many questions and concerns that you legitimately would like to have addressed. The issue is how to go about that in the right way. 


6 Tips for Dealing with a Loved One In ICU


Here are some tips that can help you get through the life-altering moment that you discover your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury and is now in ICU.


Talk To Your Loved One


Avoid spending time by their bedside just feeling sorry for them and for you. Instead, talk to them. Even if you think that they cannot hear you, the mere gesture of you being there for them will speak wonders. You will want to reassure your loved one that you are there for them and that you will not leave their side no matter what.


Learn As Much About the Room as Possible


Since you do not know how long your child, spouse, or sibling will be in the ICU it is important that you get to know the room in an intimate fashion. Learn as much about the equipment as possible so that you can understand functions such as heart rate and oxygen levels. Do not be afraid to ask the nurse about these items and learn how to operate the hospital bed as well.


Ask About Medications and Possible Side Effects


This is the time to learn about the medications that your loved one is being administered. Find out when they are administered and in what doses. It is also important to understand possible side effects so that you can help nurses be on a lookout for them while the individual is in ICT. Write everything down so that you do not forget anything.


Locate a Private Area for You in the Hospital


There will be times when you just need to get out of the room for a while and cry. It is understandable that you want to be alone in such situations, so be proactive. Look for an area of the hospital where you can go to be alone. If you need spiritual guidance, now is the time to look for a hospital chapel or chaplain as well.


Get to Know the Nursing Staff


You will want to work hard to get to know all of the nurses charged with the responsibility of taking care of your loved one. Find out which ones will go the extra mile to do what it takes to get you the answers you need. This will go a long way towards comforting you in the end.


Start Checking About Insurance


Finances will become a concern depending on your relationship with the individual suffering from a traumatic brain injury. It would be helpful if you started to work on this on their behalf. Find out the parameters of the insurance policy and start looking for other programs that will help provide treatment and payment options.




Nobody wishes to find themselves in the ICU for days on end tending to a loved one who has suffered a traumatic brain injury. However, your response to this situation will go a long way towards their eventual recovery. Remember to be patient, stay by their side, and be an advocate for their care. This is a solid beginning that you can be proud of in the end.




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