Brain Injury, the silent epidemic, has become a serious health concern.
The CDC estimates 1.7 million Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)-related incidents occur in the U.S each year. Furthermore they state that “TBI is a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths”. Reporting that between 2002 and 2006 35.2% of TBI were caused by falls, 17.3% by accidents involving motor vehicles, 16.5% were a result of being struck, 10% were the result of assault, and in 21% of the cases the cause was unknown or other.
It is important to understand that TBI rates do vary by age and by sex. Those most likely to suffer from a traumatic brain injury are those in the following age groups: 0 to 4 years, adolescent 15-19 years, and adults aged 65 years and older. Those with the highest rate of hospitalization and death resulting from a traumatic brain injury are 75+ years old. The CDC estimates 275,000 traumatic brain injury hospitalizations occurred annually between 2002-2006. With so many being hospitalized, it’s no surprise that we have more individuals looking for treatment.
It’s important to understand the complications of TBI, realizing that many may recover quickly and fully, however for others they symptoms may be long lasting. The CDC lists the symptoms of TBI in four basic categories listed below:
|Difficulty thinking clearly||Headache
Fuzzy or blurry vision
|Irritability||Sleeping more than usual|
|Feeling slowed down||Nausea or vomiting
|Sadness||Sleep less than usual|
|Difficulty concentrating||Sensitivity to noise or light
|More emotional||Trouble falling asleep|
|Difficulty remembering new information||Feeling tired, having no energy||Nervousness or anxiety|
There are three categories of Traumatic Brain Injury: Mild, Moderate, and Severe.
A Mild brain injury is categorized by a loss of consciousness for 0-30 minutes, alteration of consciousness for a moment up to 24 hours, post traumatic amnesia that can last 0-1 day.
A Moderate brain injury is categorized by normal or abnormal structural imaging, a loss of consciousness for more than 30 minutes and less than 24 hours, alteration of consciousness for more than 24 hours, with post traumatic amnesia that can last more than 1 day, and less than 7 days.
A Sever brain injury is categorized by normal or abnormal structural imaging, a loss of consciousness for more than 24 hours, alteration of consciousness for more than 24 hours, with post traumatic amnesia that can last more than 7 days.
If you suspect you or your loved one has suffered from a traumatic brain injury, contact your health care provider immediately, as early detection can result in a speedier recovery. It is important to remember while we may use the terminology “Mild Brain Injury” there is nothing mild about it.
Some tips for getting better, for both children and adults are to get plenty of rest and avoid physically demanding or high risk activities, more details can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/feel_better.html#1