Brain Injury Awareness Month: 5 Facts

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, and we here at Williams DeLoatche, P.C. want to talk a little bit about the instances of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that occur each year. Each year, approximately 3.6 million people suffer a brain injury of some degree. This can cause both temporary and permanent damage, resulting in balance issues, trouble walking, difficulty completing everyday tasks, and even challenges with speaking. While some people are lucky enough to recover either partially or fully from their head injury, there are many more that will deal with lifelong issues.

In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, we want to share with you five fast facts about head trauma.

Woman holds her head that’s wrapped up in a bandage

There are Various Causes of TBI

There are a number of ways that you can get a traumatic brain injury. The most common occurrences are from falls, a firearm-related injury, as a result of a motor vehicle crash, an assault, or during an athletic activity. Some sort of impact must occur to the head, resulting in an injury to your brain that will change the brain’s neuronal activity. Swelling can occur as well as internal pressure and bleeding.

Traumatic Brain Injury is More Common Than You Think

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are over 2 billion traumatic brain injury visits to hospitals and emergency departments each year. Some of these TBIs result in death, while others are able to survive and potentially recover from their incident. Over 200,000 of these patients are children, and it’s most common for traumatic brain injury to occur in people over the age of 75. This is generally because of their high risk of falling and hitting their head.

Doctor holds up an x-ray of a patient’s skull, looking for a TBI

The Frequency of Concussions

According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, there can be anywhere from 1.7 to 3 million sports and recreation-related concussions each year in the U.S. These are injuries that occur to the brain which result in temporary loss of normal brain function. A concussion has the ability to affect things like a person’s memory, judgment, reflexes, ability to speak, balance and even muscle coordination. Some people who suffer from a serious concussion will even report experiencing a brief period of amnesia.

It’s uncommon for a single concussion to lead to long term damage, but people who have experienced multiple ones during their lifetime can experience permanent issues such as trouble concentrating, impaired cognitive ability, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to light and dizziness.

TBIs are common in contact sports, like American Football

TBI Symptoms Aren’t Always Distinguishable

There’s no denying severe head trauma, but there are many people who suffer a concussion or head injury and don’t realize the severity of what’s happened. More severe cases can present symptoms such as headaches, nausea, ringing in the ears and vision problems. However, some people experience symptoms like depression, anxiety or sleep issues. It’s not immediately recognized that these symptoms are caused by trauma. Some of these people can go on to recover from their concussion before even realizing that they suffered one. Others may experience worsening symptoms over time, prompting them to get checked out. It’s always a good idea to seek medical care if you at all suspect that you’ve suffered an injury to your head. Prompt treatment can make a big difference in your outcome.

There are Ways You Can Prevent Damage from a Blow to the Head

While there are unexpected situations that can result in a traumatic brain injury, there are a number of steps that you can take to prevent a concussion or head trauma. Let’s take a look:

  • If you’re playing sports, a helmet should be worn when appropriate to protect your head.
  • Use a helmet for activities such as horseback riding, skateboarding, rollerblading and ice skating.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Talk to your doctor if you’re taking any medications that could potentially make you dizzy or off-balance.
  • Always use caution when walking on a slippery surface.
  • Seniors that are prone to falling should assess their living situation, ensuring that there are no tripping hazards or obstacles to get around.
  • If your child has a play area in the yard, choose a soft material underneath the set to protect them from falls.
  • Seniors can utilize leg and strength exercises to help prevent falls and loss of consciousness.
Elderly woman calls for help after her elderly husband falls and hits his head

Being educated on head trauma and moderate or severe TBI situations may be able to help you prevent a scenario where you would become injured. If you or someone that you know has suffered a brain injury, reach out to us here at Williams DeLoatche, P.C. We can represent you, to ensure that you receive any support and compensation that is justified based on your traumatic brain injury accident.