Did you know that an estimated 1.7 million people sustain a Traumatic Brain Injury every year? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1.36 million emergency room visits are a result of a TBI and nearly a half a million of those are made by children ages 0 to 14 for a TBI. That is a lot of brain injuries! Awareness around TBIs, how they occur and how to prevent them is growing, and to that end, September has been named National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month.
Although most common in young children, teens and older people, brain injuries can happen to anyone. While most are mild, TBIs can range from a concussion to permanent brain damage or even death and can come from something as seemingly small as a bump or blow to the head. Knowing the signs of a brain injury and getting help right away from doctors who specialize in the brain is the key to rehabilitation.
Unique in nature from other injuries, TBIs are very different than breaking a bone or even puncturing a lung. As our brains make us who we are, brain injuries can affect all aspects of our lives, from memory and motor function to personality. No two brain injuries are alike and it takes specialized care and a functional approach to recovery to return a patient to well-being. While symptoms vary from headaches to slurred speech, nausea, numbness, confusion or restlessness to seizures or loss of consciousness, treatments vary as well. Physical therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, occupational therapy and even vocational counseling have all proved effective in the treatment of TBIs.
With such a common and far-reaching condition experienced by millions of Americans, the Brain Injury Association of America and other organizations have designated two months of the year to raise awareness and help educate on the causes, symptoms, treatments and outcomes of TBI. From website data to articles, pamphlets and even talks, there are events throughout online and local communities sharing the scientific and medical breakthroughs and reaching out to educators, media and our policy makers. To learn more about progress in the field or how you can participate in activities in your state, please visit the Brain Injury Association of America’s website by clicking here.