Amnesia refers to memory loss. Post-traumatic amnesia (PTA) is a particular kind of memory loss that lasts for a specific amount of time following an injury.
It can be for minutes, hours, days or weeks, during which time the ABI survivor can be disorientated and unable to connect continuous memories or events.
An ABI survivor may get on with everyday things such as having breakfast, washing and so on, but because they do not have full memory function they cannot remember doing these things.
Similarly, people in this state can engage in conversation but may forget that they have spoken to someone. There may be a permanent memory loss of events immediately prior to the accident and of the accident itself.
The duration of PTA is another indicator of long-term effects following brain injury. The more severe the injury, then the more likely it is that the person will experience significant long-term physical, emotional and cognitive problems. Coma and PTA are both early indicators and can only provide educated guesses about eventual recovery. There are many people who make a better or faster-than-predicted recovery.
Severity of injury according to PTA, loss of consciousness and coma:
(Table to go here)