What is Brain Injury?
A brain injury is defined as an injury that results in the destruction or degeneration of brain cells. According to the Brain Damage Association of America, around 2.6 million people in the United States suffer from some form of brain injury each year, due to a consequence of injury, stroke, tumor, or other diseases. Approximately 52,000 people die due to traumatic brain injury, while over 5 million Americans who have experienced traumatic brain injury require assistance with everyday tasks. Per the National Stroke Association, around 130,000 Americans die from a stroke annually.
There are two kinds of brain injuries:
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TB) is caused by external pressure, such as a concussion, that causes the brain to move within the skull or destroys the skull. This, in turn, harms the brain.
- Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) manifests itself at the cellular level. It is most commonly linked with cerebral pressure.
Acute and acquired brain injuries occur after birth. Both are hardly degenerative. The severity of brain damage varies depending on the type of brain injury. The minor brain damage might be just transitory. It causes headaches, dizziness, memory loss, and nausea.
Symptoms of mild brain damage might continue longer and be far more severe. In both situations, most patients recover well. However, 15% of persons with minor brain injuries will continue to have issues after a year.
A serious brain injury can result in life-changing and devastating consequences. People suffering from brain injury will be cognitively, behaviorally, and physically challenged. People in a coma or a barely responsive condition may depend upon others’ care for the rest of their life.
Common reasons for brain damage include:
- Car accidents
- Head injuries
- Sports injuries
- Heart attacks
- Psychological illnesses
However, most TBIs are caused by motor vehicle accidents, accounting for half of all TBIs. This covers vehicles such as cars, trucks, motorbikes, bicycles, and people hit by vehicles. The major causes of TBI differ by age: falls are the leading cause of TBI in those over the age of 65, whereas transportation is the top cause of TBI in people under the age of 65. According to estimates, sports-related brain injuries cause about 300,000 injuries each year, with winter activities such as skiing and ice skating being responsible for nearly 20,000 brain injuries.
Essential Facts Regarding Brain Injury:
Every year, an estimated 1.7 million Americans suffer from traumatic brain injury, with around 75% of those instances being mild brain injuries or concussions.
A concussion is a moderate kind of TBI. Only about 10% of concussion occurrences lead to a loss of consciousness. People pass out from concussions on TV and in movies all the time, but these effects are exaggerated and not entirely realistic. Although being less attentive than usual, most people suffering from a concussion remain awake and aware of what is happening.
90% of TBI patients have vision impairments due to their concussion, as per the Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association. The most frequent visual disruptions include double eyesight or hazy vision, light sensitivity, eye strain that causes headaches, reading difficulty, peripheral vision loss, and complications with eye movement.
Who is most vulnerable to TBI?
- Men are approximately 1.5 times more likely than females to experience a TBI.
- TBI is most common in children aged 0 to 4 years old and in adolescents aged 15 to 19.
- Some military jobs (for example, paratrooper) increase the likelihood of suffering a TBI.
- African Americans are more likely to suffer from a fatal TBI.
What are the Long-term Effects of a TBI?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6 million Americans presently require long-term or lifetime assistance with daily living tasks due to a TBI. As per one study, around 40% of people hospitalized with a TBI had at least one unmet need for treatment one year later. The following have often been the real challenges:
- Enhancing memory and solving problems
- Dealing with stress and emotional upheaval
- Managing one’s anger
- Increasing one’s job skills
Brain injury can result in various functional abnormalities that impair thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior, or sensation. This can also induce seizures and raise the chance of diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other brain issues that grow more common with age.
How Are Brain Injuries and Damage Treated?
Anybody who has suffered a head or brain injury should seek medical treatment at once. A seemingly minor brain damage, such as a concussion, can be just as deadly as seemingly more serious ones. The size and location of the damage are critical factors. Long-term mental illness or impairment from brain injury is not always the case. However, proper diagnosis and therapy are required to control or reduce the harm.
A neurological exam, neuroimaging tests such as MRI or CT scans, and neuropsychological evaluations are used to identify the degree and impact of brain injury. Doctors will stabilize the patient to prevent additional damage, maintain adequate blood and oxygen supply to the brain, and monitor blood pressure.
Most patients will recover from rehabilitation to improve their long-term recovery. Examples of therapies that may be used are Physiotherapy, Physical therapy, Occupational and speech therapy, Psychological assistance, etc.
How to Prevent Brain Injuries?
The majority of brain injuries are avoidable. Below are a few guidelines to pursue to reduce your risk of serious injury:
- Use window guards to prevent little children from falling out.
- Add shock-absorbing material to playgrounds.
- When participating in sports or cycling, use a helmet.
- When participating in contact sports, wear a Q-collar.
- Never, ever shake a youngster.
- Add railings to stairwells.
- Avoid using illicit substances.
- Consume alcohol in moderation, and never drink and drive.
Have you suffered brain injury as a result of someone else’s carelessness or negligence? Do you wonder whether you should seek legal help? Get in touch with Pittsburgh Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.