Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious problem for many. TBI can result in permanent injury or death. It is caused by a jolt, blow or bump to the head. There does not need to be any external sign of injury for TBI to cause serious problems. For this reason, it is often misunderstood, mistreated and undiagnosed.
CDC statistics show that TBI contributes to approximately 1.7 million deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits every year. Although most patients with TBI are treated and released, approximately 30 percent of all injury-related deaths in the US are caused by TBI. Many permanent disabilities could be prevented if individuals and doctors paid closer attention to potential TBI. About 5 percent of TBI injuries, even when mild, can lead to permanent disability and emotional problems.
TBI injuries can be caused by many types of accidents. Falls are the most common cause of TBI and contribute to most TBI injuries in children 0 to 4 years and seniors age 65 or older. Those over 75 years of age are at greatest risk for being hospitalized or dying from TBI. Teens age 15 to 19 are at risk for TBI from car accidents and sports injuries. Out of all groups, males are more likely to sustain TBI and boys age 0 to 4 have the highest rates of any group for ER visits, hospitalizations or death.
Deaths from TBI are most often the result of motor vehicle accidents, occurring most frequently in young adults age 20 to 24. The costs of TBI, both medical and lost earning potential totaled $60 billion in 2000 and TBI rates have been on the rise since then.
To reduce your chances of sustaining TBI, be careful to wear your seat belt at all times when in a motor vehicle. Always wear a helmet in open vehicles such as bicycles and motorcycles. Skateboarders and in-line skaters should also take care to protect themselves with helmets. Learn ways to keep areas safe for children and seniors who are prone to falls and TBI. Educate teens about safety measures during sports and when to sit out the game. Any blow to the head should be treated by a physician as a precaution, followed by rest.
To ensure proper treatment for TBI all individuals should be aware that patients receive different levels of treatment for a diagnosis of “Concussion” versus “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.” Patients should discuss with doctors in the ER whether TBI is the more appropriate diagnosis, since patients may receive better treatment for their injuries when diagnosed with TBI versus Concussion. Patients should be monitored for symptoms such as headache, moodiness, loss of balance and dizziness. Seek additional treatment when these symptoms persist after a few days.
If you or someone close to you has suffered a serious or permanent injury due to TBI, you should contact our office for a free consultation. We will help you determine if you may be eligible to file a claim for injuries to help pay for medical treatment.