Medical Director At Memorial Rehabilitation Institute's Expanded Brain Injury Program Discusses How To Spot A Concussion

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Dr. Meilani Mapa, who leads the recently expanded Brain Injury Rehabilitation program at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, said taking preventative measures — such as wearing a helmet and avoiding drinking and driving — is important to help prevent brain injuries.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a loss of consciousness. Any force or blow to the head is a brain injury,” said Dr. Meilani Mapa, medical director of the Brain Injury Program at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute.

With Fall season sports in full swing, medical experts say it is important for coaches, parents and athletes to know the signs of a concussion..

If a concussion or brain injury occurs, would you know what to do? Experts advise to seek medical attention immediately for the person who is injured, but knowing how to spot the signs is more important than ever.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a loss of consciousness. Any force or blow to the head is a brain injury,” said Dr. Meilani Mapa, medical director of the Brain Injury Program at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, located at Memorial Regional Hospital South in Hollywood, Florida.

Dr. Mapa, who leads the new Brain Injury Rehabilitation program at Memorial Rehabilitation Institute, said taking preventative measures — such as wearing a helmet and avoiding drinking and driving — is important to help prevent brain injuries.

However, if a blow to the head does occur, here’s what to watch for:

  •     headaches
  •     dizziness
  •     memory loss
  •     confusion
  •     vomiting
  •     increased lethargy
  •     decreased level of consciousness
  •     sensitivity to light or noise
  •     vertigo
  •     mood swings
  •     change in mental status or awareness

For patients who have suffered an injury to the brain, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute provides individually tailored treatment programs in the areas of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, physiatry (physical medicine), neuropsychology/psychiatry, and recreational therapy amongst other services.

Brain injury rehabilitation therapy often involves repositioning, range-of-motion activities and strengthening exercises to enhance movement. Therapy may also involve balance retraining, facilitation of return to walking, and facilitation of independence in activities of daily living (ADLs) such as dressing, bathing and using the toilet.

In addition to helping the patient regain independence, these therapies can help prevent complications of traumatic brain injury including infection and bed sores. Encouraging physical movement is critical to recovery. In cases of speech and language challenges, alternative forms of communications such as pictures, verbal cues, writing and computers may be used. Innovative techniques are used to assist in regaining control of swallowing muscles.

At Memorial Rehabilitation, the team works closely with patients and their support system to design and implement a personalized plan of care that helps aid in the recovery and helps improve quality of life and long-term function.

For more information about Memorial Rehabilitation Institute’s newly expanded Brain Injury Program, please contact 954-518-5725 or visit http://www.memorialrehab.com/inpatient/adult-programs/brain-injury.html

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Geo Rodriguez
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