The Post Traumatic Amnesia Essay Example

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The treatment of PTA



The post traumatic Amnesia (PTA) is a condition that occurs when an individual is unable to remember the continuous events after he or she has had a blow of the head that makes the patient to appear as if they are conscious and awake yet they behave and talk in a much uncharacterized manner. This individual looses their day to day continuous memory and this equally affects their recent events.PTA is a common symptom that occurs from a head injury just like in the case of the 12 year old boy who fell 6m from their roof. As the healing of the head injury progresses, there are some major changes that can be noticed from the complex cognitive, emotional and physical developments (Hagen, 1981; Rollin, 1987).It is proved that the longer the time taken by the PTA condition, the greater the damage that will occur. It was also noted from a research that was carried out, that in some patients, the change from total amnesia can sometimes occur rapidly to being lucid.

Mathew’s Glasgow Score was 3, which showed the measure of the PTA hence the severity of the brain injury. In Australia the West mead Post traumatic Amnesia Scale is the most commonly used to provide a standardized and objective measure of the period of the disease (Marosszeky 2007).The child, was in ICU for 3 days which according to the scale was an indication of severe brain damage. When these patients start undergoing treatment, they recover their memory but this is alternated with sessions of confusion which makes them unable to deal with the external and the internal stimulus. It is these rapid fluctuations in their symptoms, that make it necessary for the patients to be taken to hospital for assessment after every few days or weeks (Hagen 1998).In the hospital, the treatment decisions are very difficult to make since the patients mostly progress from a coma to prolonged sessions of disorientation, amnesia and great behavior disturbances.

In the case of Mathew, when he had come out of his coma and was under treatment he had serious cognitive impairment which included having difficulties in learning, problem solving and even in decision making as this is evidenced by his defiance to yield to the requests of the parents and the medical team. Mathew was also diagnosed to have a right hemi paresis which was a motor physical impairment that made him to have problems with his coordination, balance, walking and hand function. This condition was seen to improve after the boy was taken to the hospital for the daily therapy sessions. This was beneficial for the healing process and by the time he was discharged he was fully walking. The additional therapy is only possible if the patient is cognitively functioning. The progress should also be monitored through a prognostic scale that indicates the performance levels of the patient (Hagen 2001).

It is always important for the family members as well as the hospital staff who are handling the patients suffering from PTA, to remember that this was only a recovery stage that would come to pass. It is a problem that causes a lot of distress to the family and friends as well as making it difficult to manage the problem. It is advisable to avoid creating more problems for the brain by ensuring that the patients does not get depressed or even agitated hence burdening the brain even more(Marosszeky 2007). The patients should be taken for an assessment to the neurologist or the neuropsychologist to avoid the occurrence of a post Traumatic Amnesia. The condition of the child, had reached the level where it was hard to manage and a lot of care and management was required so as to prevent the child from doing more harm to them. At this stage somebody had to sit with the child throughout the day and especially during the afternoon when the condition was said to become worse.

Since the child was due to return to school, he was referred to a neuropsychologist for a thorough assessment that mainly focused on the memory of the child, and the coordination of the auditory and visual attention .One of the tasks would be the picture recall (PRL) and the picture recognition (PRT) where a number of pictures would be used then the child would be asked to identify them and then remember them since the same routine would be repeated on the preceding days of the sessions (Rollin 2007). The other task would involve testing how well the child could recall the words mentioned by the neuropsychologists. This would be repeated on the preceding visits in the clinic to strengthen the cognitive power of the child.

In addition to these strategies of helping the child recover from the post-traumatic Amnesia, while at home a lot of stimulation should be avoided since most of the patients with this condition are usually unable to cope with too much noise hence the activities around the individuals should be kept to a minimum (Hagen 2001). When the patient and the teachers are communicating with the child, they should ensure that they keep their sentences short and hence reduce the instances of confusion. Precaution should also be taken to ensure that the child is not left alone to prevent the reoccurrence of such accidents again.


Successful treatment for PTA can be difficult and therefore, it is always advisable to involve the support network. Through the proper management strategies and rehabilitation interventions it is possible to have substantial functional gain to the brain of the patient.


Hagen, C. (2001). Language disorders secondary to closed head injury: Diagnosis and treatment.

Topics in Language Disorders, 1, 73-87.

Marosszeky, N.E.V, Ryan, L., Shores, E.A, (2007), The PTA Protocol: Guidelines for using the West mead Post-Traumatic Amnesia (PTA) Scale, Sydney.

Derived from:

Rollin, W.J. (2007). The psychology of Communication disorders in individuals and their families. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall.

Walsh, K. (2007). Neuropsychology: A clinical approach. New York: Churchill lining stone