Traumatic brain injuries are a preventable public health issue. Efforts to improve diagnosis and treatment of TBIs (frequently referred to as a concussion) continue; however, there is room for improvement, and education is key to reducing the incidents and severity of this crisis.
According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of permanent injury-related disabilities and death in the United States. This problem is officially a public health issue, and the statistics are alarming.
- Of all emergency department visits in 2010, 2.5 million of them were related to TBI.
- Between the years of 2001 and 2009, TBI-related pediatric sports and recreation-related emergency room visits rose from 153,375 to 248,418, which was a 62 percent increase.
- Hospitalizations and deaths related to TBIs cost over $82 billion dollars every year.
Traumatic Brain injury is a public health crisis. Those suffering from a TBIs may be affected differently. These are some of the signs or symptoms common to this type of injury.
- Cognitive function impairment that results in memory loss or shortened attention spans.
- If motor function has been affected, there may be leg or arm weakness, poor coordination or balance issues.
- Senses may be affected and the injured may experience hearing loss, vision, perception or touch impairment.
- Emotional disturbances may result and the TBI may cause depression, anxiety, personality changes or a loss of impulse control.
The majority of TBIs are caused by four commonly reported incidents. These include falls, hits, strikes or motor vehicle accidents (which result in the largest percentage of TBI-related deaths) and assaults. Education and awareness are key to head injury prevention.
Stay safe on the road
It helps to practice prevention and safety when on the road. Stay safe by following these tips:
- Use your seatbelt during every trip, regardless of the length.
- Make sure your children are properly secured. Car seats should be installed correctly and appropriate for relevant ages, weights and heights.
- Refrain from driving if/when impaired by any substance or health issue.
- Obey all traffic laws.
To learn more about what do after an accident, speak with a legal professional.