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National Brain Injury Awareness Month: Understanding Brain Injuries

Updated: Mar 3, 2019

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month which aims to educate the public on brain injuries and the needs of people that have endured brain injuries. At Kaufman Law, we want to join the movement and provide useful information for such a serious topic.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury caused by trauma. Examples of trauma that can lead to a TBI includes slip and falls, auto accidents, and high impact sport accidents. Doctors classify traumatic brain injuries as either mild, moderate or severe.

Mild Brain Injury

A brain injury would be considered mild if there was no loss of consciousness or the patient was unconscious for less than five minutes. The victim may seem dazed or confused, but the brain may look normal on brain scans. Mild brain injuries, commonly referred to as a concussion, will usually result in temporary symptoms.

Moderate Brain Injury

A brain injury is considered moderate if the patient regains consciousness within a few minutes to a few hours of the injury. The patient may be confused after awakening, which may last for several days or even weeks. There may be a variety of physical, cognitive, and behavioral effects that can last for several months or longer.

Some of the changes may be permanent. However, patients with a moderate brain injury can usually make a more comprehensive recovery with medical treatment and therapy. Many times, they can learn to compensate for any lasting disability.

Severe Brain Injury

Severe brain injuries occur when the brain tissue is either ripped, sheared, torn, or penetrated. These injuries are often life-threatening, and treatment may include extensive hospitalization and long-term rehabilitation. Even with treatment, the victim may not be able to return to their pre-injury status. The patient will likely have lasting effects.

For more on how TBI's can impair your executive functioning, read here.

How Common Are Traumatic Brain Injuries?

While many studies focus on the impact brain injuries can have on a patient and their family, many fail to detail how common these injuries can be. In a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, researchers used a refined system to classify brain injuries by the intensity of the force to the head and the long-term physical impact. Their research found that the incidence of traumatic brain injury in the United States is likely to be greater than previously estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For the study, the Mayo Clinic used a classification system to categorize head injuries along a comprehensive scale, which allows researchers to study the data at a more detailed level. Researchers labeled patients with “definite,” “probable,” and “possible” TBI based on symptoms, such as loss of consciousness, nausea, or dizziness.

Through their research, they discovered that TBIs occur in as many as 558 patients out of 100,000. The CDC estimates showed that only 341 patients out of 100,000 experience a TBI. This disparity, according to researchers, is due to a large number of injuries falling outside the categorization used by the CDC, even though the patients may experience symptoms of a TBI.

Who Is At Risk For Traumatic Brain Injuries?

Although anyone can endure a traumatic brain injury, certain age groups are considered to be more at risk. According to the CDC, those that are 75 and older are at greater risk for TBI-related hospitalization or death due to falls. Intentional self harm was the leading cause of TBI related death for those 25-64 years of age. Additionally, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of TBI related death for those 5-24 years of age. Motor vehicle crashes were also the leading cause of TBI related hospitalizations for those 15-44 years of age. For more of these facts, read here.

The Mayo Clinic research concerning those at risk coincides with the CDC by determining that the elderly and the very young are at most risk for “definite” and “possible” TBI. In addition, they found that men were more at risk than women. The study’s author, Dr. Allen Brown, is confident that the new tools available to research historical injury data will help future patients.

For more information on child specific brain injuries, read here.

Injured? Call Kaufman Law, P.C. for a Free Review.

If you or someone you love has sustained a brain injury from a truck accident, car accident, or other serious accident, contact an Atlanta personal injury lawyer at Kaufman Law, P.C. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling various cases and will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you deserve.


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