March Is Brain Injury Awareness Month

Posted Mar 9, 2018 - 10:55am

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, every 9 seconds someone in the U.S. sustains a brain injury, and every day, 137 people die in the U.S. because of a traumatic brain-related injury.

In addition, more than 3.5 million children and adults sustain an acquired brain injury each year; however, the total number of incidents is unknown.

What is Traumatic Brain Injury?

Traumatic brain injury is diagnosed when there is destruction or degeneration of brain cells, usually occurring due to a wide range of internal and external factors, more typically:

  • Assaults
  • Motor vehicle traffic
  • Falls
  • Assaults
  • Strike by or against
  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Stroke

Other causes include electric shock, lightning strike, near drowning, infectious disease, seizure disorder, substance abuse/overdose, toxic exposure and tumor.

Treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury

There is no one standard treatment traumatic brain injury. Once the diagnosis has been made, patients and their families work together with an interdisciplinary treatment team to determine the best course of action.

Depending upon the nature of the injury, individuals may enter, exit, and re-enter treatment at any point either continuously or on an intermittent basis throughout their life.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury

Keep yourself safe, and observe the following rules to prevent traumatic brain injury:

  • Wear a helmet. When riding a bike, motorcycle, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicle, playing sports, riding a horse, skiing or snowboarding or participating in any sport that involves heights.
  • Wear a seat belt. Whether you’re driving or a passenger, wear your seat belt. Small children should be seated in the back of the vehicle in an age- and weight-appropriate safety or booster seat.
  • Never drive while impaired. Always arrange for a designated driver when out in a group and alcohol will be involved. Or, arrange for a taxi or car service to pick you up. Also, check with your pharmacist when taking prescription drugs in case your medication causes impairment.
  • Prevent falls. Watch out for hazards such as loose rugs, uneven flooring or walkway clutter. Use nonslip mats in baths and showers. Improve lighting in area near stairs, uneven floor heights and other tripping/falling dangers.

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