It is far from news that homeless people have heightened risk of rain injuries, but hearing just how much higher the risk is can still be awfully startling.
The newest statistics from Canadian researchers suggest that homeless males who drink heavily have a four hundred percent higher chance of suffering a brain injury than the average person. The number of traumatic brain injuries with internal bleeding is 300 times higher than the average, and the rate of severe head injuries is 170 times higher.
These numbers were published in the Emergency Medicine Journal, and the research was led by Dr. Tomislav Svoboda, and they underscore a huge problem in the homeless population, which is an equally large problem for everyone else.
“We were shocked by the number if [sic] head injuries,” said Dr. Tomislav in a news release. “In medicine, we worry when something occurs two or three times more often in a particular patient group, but to talk about magnitudes of 300 or 400 is unheard of.”
The biggest difference between this study and those in the past is that previous research on head injuries among homeless people was based on interviews, whereas these new findings are supposedly the first to base their findings on actually emergency department records.
One of the most interesting findings was that both homeless males with drinking problems had less and less time between injuries, the more concussions they had. The average length of time between head injuries was 7.7 months, but every subsequent concussions shortened that period by about 12 days.
Aside from rampant drug and alcohol dependency in homeless populations they also face numerous other serious contributing factors that make homeless men so predisposed to brain injuries. There are much higher numbers of mental challenged individuals who are forced into homelessness, as well as more people who suffered abuse in their early life.
“We need to do something for this group-we’re seeing data that suggests they are in a downward spiral,” said Dr. Svoboda. “When the brain is injured, you can’t fix it. We need to identify and support these people.”