Brain Injury Program

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Springfield Memorial Hospital’s Traumatic Brain Injury Program offers a broad range of services for head injury patients, from trauma care through outpatient rehabilitation. A neurologic special care unit is available for patients who require a higher nurse-patient ratio and intensive monitoring. We specialize in treatment of both traumatic and non-traumatic brain injury.

In the weeks after a brain injury, significant physical, cognitive and behavior changes are common. We help you regain the ability to do all the tasks necessary for daily living, such as bathing, dressing, grooming, feeding, walking and using the bathroom.

We use many techniques to strengthen attention, memory, judgment and communication. Early on, we help the family understand the changes brought about by brain injury and prepare them to help their loved one perform basic self-care.

Technology and evidenced-based practice are used to ensure treatment models are up-to-date and incorporate the latest advances in brain injury research. Examples include:

  • a partial body weight support system
  • electrical stimulation including Bioness L-300 and H200
  • standing frames
  • specialty wheelchairs
  • Proprio 4000, a computer controlled balance platform
  • Bioness Integrated Therapeutic System (BITS)
  • Restorative Therapies Integrated Functional Electrical Stimulation Arm and Leg Bike (RT – iFES)

The rehab physician, nurses and therapists help patients understand their diagnosis and prognosis for recovery. The Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program provides support, education, training and resource referrals when appropriate. Staff members also offer strategies to family members to help the patient's progress and transition to home.

Improvements following brain injury usually happen fast in the early phase of recovery. Full recovery often takes months. Once discharged from the hospital, most patients need additional therapy. Memorial provides outpatient rehab services and works with home health agencies to make home therapy service available. We coordinate with other facilities that may be closer to home and with appropriate state agencies to help patients and families receive the services they need.

For more information, call 217-788-3300 weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or email us.

Brain Injury FAQ

How long will it take to recover from a brain injury?

Each injury is different. Recovery time depends on the extent of the brain injury. Other medical complications are also part of determining the length of the recovery process. Most of the recovery that's going to take place happens in about a year. The brain continues to heal after that, but more slowly.

How long will I be on the rehab unit in the hospital?

The average length of stay is about two weeks. This time frame may seem short, but these time lines are in line with national averages. We have also found going home as soon as possible, while continuing therapy either at home or as an outpatient, has many physical and psychological benefits. Our system of care encompasses all these treatment areas and will continue to be a resource for as long as you need our services.

Will my loved one be the same as before the injury?

After a brain injury, the brain will not be exactly the same as it was before. Brain injury survivors can often return to a life that is much the same as before the injury. However, this depends on how much damage to the brain occurred and where it occurred. Typically, younger adults show greater recovery than older adults do. For moderate and severe injuries, usually by six months after the injury doctors will be able to provide more information about long-term issues, such as returning to work.

Why is my loved one acting like this?

After a brain injury, a person may be more irritable, self-centered, impulsive and may engage in angry, dangerous or violent behaviors. Such behaviors are common with individuals who have sustained brain injuries. They occur during the stages of recovery from brain injury and are not a reflection of the person's personality. Instead, the extent and location of the injury are the strongest factors in causing negative behaviors. Most extreme negative behaviors disappear with time.

When will my loved one's memory return?

During the initial stages of recovery, the person cannot learn new information or form new memories. This is called post-traumatic confusion. When the person begins to remember information or events from one day to the next, the period of post-traumatic confusion is ending. The sooner this day-to-day memory returns, the better the recovery of the individual. The location of the injury in the brain also determines the extent and nature of the memory impairment.

How will my loved one cope with the brain injury?

During the early stages of recovery, the person isn't aware of the nature of the injury or its consequences. As improvement occurs, increased understanding of the impact of the injury grows. Frequent emotional reactions are sadness, difficulties with adjustment or clinical depression. These emotional reactions signal significant recovery has taken place. Referral for Psychiatry/health Psychology/Counseling Support to assess patients admitted to the rehabilitation facility and can help the patient and his or her family adjust to behavior and personality changes.