ABI implies damage to the brain that was sudden in onset and occurred after birth and the neonatal period. It is thus differentiated from birth injuries, congenital abnormalities and progressive or degenerative diseases affecting the central nervous system.

Source: Scottish Needs Assessment Programme 2000

Acquired and traumatic brain injury - causes and symptoms


A brain injury is sudden damage to the brain caused by things such as an infection, tumour, poisoning, or lack of oxygen (acquired brain injury); or a blow to the head (traumatic brain injury), for example from a road traffic accident; an assault; a fall; or a sports accident.

A stroke is also classified as an acquired brain injury.

Most traumatic brain injuries are mild. For example, you might be unconscious for 30 minutes or less or have very brief memory problems which last less than a day. More severe injuries can cause longer spells of unconsciousness or memory loss which lasts longer than a day. A severe brain injury can affect your physical ability - for example, you may have difficulty walking or speaking; cognition (ability to think) - for example, you may find it hard to concentrate or remember things; behaviour - for example, you may behave in a different way than before; emotions - for example, you may find it hard to show affection or you may get angry much more easily; and social ability - for example, you may find it hard to be with groups of people, or to make friends.

Sometimes people with severe brain injuries can have some of the same problems as people with milder injuries, although these might last longer or cause more difficulties with everyday activities. After a brain injury, you will receive rehabilitation. This is the process of helping you to recover from the injury and getting you as close as possible to how you were before the injury. The aim of rehabilitation is to help you overcome or cope with the problems caused by your brain injury.”

Source: Health Improvement Scotland, SIGN 130 brain injury guidelines 2013

About Compass

Compass is a specialist provider of slow-stream rehabilitation for survivors of acquired and traumatic brain injury. Our services are integrated with the local NHS treatment pathway for acquired and traumatic brain injury, giving you access to primary care and community rehabilitation specialists. Access to rehabilitation is vital and should take place as soon as is practicable, post injury. Our treatment modality is proven to be safe and effective, giving you the best possible opportunity to maximise your recovery and improve your quality of life. Above all, at Compass we believe that living with acquired or traumatic brain injury does not change your identity.