Unlike many serious and potentially debilitating health conditions, traumatic brain injuries do not discriminate and individuals of all ages and states of health are at risk of suffering a TBI. Annually, approximately 2.5 million people visit hospital emergency departments for TBI-related injuries and an average of 50,000 die from such injuries.
Falls and motor vehicle accidents are the leading causes of TBIs, accounting for approximately half of all treated injuries. Signs that indicate that an individual has suffered a TBI include dizziness, confusion, nausea and loss of consciousness. Additionally, lingering symptoms that may not be readily apparent include changes in mood, fatigue, irritability and depression. Individuals who suspect that they may have suffered a concussion or other TBI are advised to seek immediate medical care.
In cases where an individual is diagnosed with a TBI, it’s important to follow certain protocols with regard to recovery which include:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Avoiding “visually stimulating devices” including computers, televisions and smartphones
- Avoiding physical activities
- Avoiding mental activities – this may require that students take time off from their studies and that adults take sick time or medical leave
In most cases, the initial symptoms associated with a mild TBI like a concussion, subside within a few days. It’s important to note, however, that every body and brain reacts differently to what may appear to be identical injuries and it’s possible that an individual will continue to experience disruptive physical and cognitive symptoms for weeks or longer.
For anyone who suspects that they or a loved one may have suffered a TBI, it’s incredibly important to see a doctor and to follow his or her orders with regard to recovery. In cases where a TBI resulted from a slip-and-fall accident at a store or being struck by a car while riding one’s bicycle, it’s also important to contact an attorney about taking legal action to recover compensation related to medical bills, lost wages and disability.
Source: DC Military, “Traumatic Brain Injury 101,” Bernard S. Little, April 7, 2016
The Buffalo News, “Knowing the causes, symptoms and treatment is the best defense against the long-term dangers of concussions,” Landin Murphy, April 20, 2016