Traumatic brain injury (TBI) affects an estimated 2.4 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).TBI refers to a sudden trauma which causes damage to the brain with the leading causes being falls, sports and car accidents.
Symptoms of TBI Injury
The symptoms of a TBI injury are broad and wide ranging from mild to moderate to severe and depends on the extent of damage the brain sustains. A person that sustains a mild TBI may remain conscious or may experience a loss of consciousness. Other symptoms can include dizziness, headache and confusion accompanied by blurred vision, ringing in the ears and more. A person with moderate or severe TBI may exhibit all of these symptoms but the headache is likely to increase in pain and doesn’t go away. Convulsions, nausea and seizures are more severe symptoms while the most severe cases can result in unresponsive state.
Medical attention should be sought for anyone that displays any signs of a traumatic brain injury. There is not much that can be done to reverse the an initial brain injury and the resulting trauma, but medical personnel can stabilize the person and prevent the injury from becoming worse with the main concern ranging from proper oxygen supply to the brain and controlling blood pressure.
In mild to moderate cases the patient will need an x-ray to assess the injury. While for moderate to severe cases a CT scan followed by rehabilitation programs tailored to the patient and injury will be needed.
TBI Prevention in Car Accidents & Sports:
- Always wear a seat belt
- Use an appropriate child safety seat or a booster
- Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, snowmobile and other open unrestrained vehicles at all times
- Wear a helmet when participating in contact sports
- Wear a helmet while skiing, snowboarding, skating and skateboarding
- Use the rails on stairways
- Place bars on windows to prevent children from falling
- Don’t leave children unattended
For more information on traumatic brain injury statistics and prevention, please refer to the CDC Web site.