March is Brain Injury Awareness Month, a national campaign by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) that seeks to raise awareness and recognize the more than 5.3 million adults and children living with some type of permanent brain injury-related disability.
The #MoreThanMyBrainInjury campaign also has the goal of improving the quality of life for the one in every 60 people affected by brain injury. If you don’t think this could happen to you, think again. Awareness could be the key to reducing the number of incidents and keeping your brain healthy. Here are five important facts about traumatic brain injuries, concussions, and brain health.
Fact #1: Traumatic Brain Injuries Happen More Than You Think
Every nine seconds, someone in this country will experience a traumatic brain injury. If you think that’s a lot, consider this: more than 2.8 million Americans sustain traumatic brain injuries every year.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a form of brain damage that can happen when a person’s head is hit or jolted. The most common types of blows to the head happen from sports activities, car accidents, falls, workplace accidents, or assaults.
You can also incur a concussion from simple household mishaps, like accidentally walking into a door and banging your head.
Fact #2: Symptoms Aren’t Always Obvious
Despite the danger a TBI poses to victims, it isn’t always easy to spot. A TBI is often contained within the skull, with no external evidence of an injury. This makes diagnosis more complicated than it would be for other injuries. The victim—or those close to them—may have to look for warning signs in their behavior, including injuries you’d expect, such as:
• Ringing in the ears
• Vision problems
Some symptoms can go undetected because they may not appear to be related to a head injury. These symptoms can include:
• Sleep difficulties
• Mood swings
• Changes in personality
• Chronic, persistent fear
Symptoms may not be noticeable right away, and can take hours, days, or even weeks to manifest clearly. By then the injury may be more severe, require even more effective treatment or be harder to recover from. Early medical intervention can mean the difference between full recovery or lingering, long-term symptoms.
Fact #3: Older Adults Are at Higher Risk
Even though head injuries are often associated with sports or professional athletes, older adults face a high risk of concussion or a TBI, often from falling. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that people aged 75 and older had the highest numbers and rates of TBI-related hospitalizations and deaths. This group accounts for about 32 percent of all hospitalizations and 28 percent of all TBI-related deaths.
Fact #4: Helmets Can Prevent Head Injuries
It may seem obvious, but studies consistently show that anyone who wears a helmet for activities with a higher potential for head impact can decrease their risk of serious brain injuries.
Fact #5: Waiting to Seek Medical Attention Can Worsen Your Injury
As mentioned above, the longer it takes to diagnose a TBI, the harder it may be to treat and heal. If you’ve had a significant accident like a car crash or a fall, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Some people find it difficult to make rational decisions if they’re suffering from a TBI, which could keep you from recognizing symptoms. That’s why it’s imperative to listen to and trust the advice of others who may help you by pointing out a potential injury.
Not only will this medical attention help you avoid severe long-term damage from TBI, but it will also provide valuable support if you decide to pursue compensation for your injury.
If You Are a Victim of Negligence or Misconduct, Contact Us
Do you suspect you have a traumatic brain injury due to someone else’s negligence or misconduct? You may be entitled to compensation. Discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer by contacting us today.