Causes of Brain Injury
Michael V. Kaplen: In my role as an advocate on behalf of victims of traumatic brain injury, I am often asked about the types of incidents that typically cause brain trauma.
Traumatic Brain Injury has become a national health epidemic.
According to the Centers for Disease Control each year in the United States:
- Approximately 1.5 million Americans will sustain a traumatic brain injury
- 51,000 persons die from their brain injuries and 230,000 individuals are hospitalized
- More than 1 million individuals a year are treated in hospital emergency rooms and released following a TBI.
- It is estimated $56 Billion Dollars is spent each year on direct and indirect costs related to traumatic brain injury and that
- 80,000-90,000 individuals will experience the onset of long term disability as a result of their brain injury.
And of course, unfortunately, it is the sad truth that traumatic brain injury has become the signature wound for returning veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.
These statistics explain why I say that traumatic brain injury is a national health epidemic that needs the full resources of the federal and state governments to address injury prevention, brain injury education and proper methods of brain injury rehabilitation. Insurance companies need to be held accountable when they withhold necessary benefits for victims of brain trauma.
Some of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury in the United States today are:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Sporting accidents
- Violence including domestic violence
- Shaken baby syndrome.
In children and the elderly the leading cause of TBI are falls. In young adults, aged 15 to 19 the leading cause of TBI are motor vehicle accidents. The third leading cause of traumatic brain injury is sporting accidents.
Males are twice as likely as females to have sustained a traumatic brain injury
and children 4 and under as well as senior citizens are at the highest risk of brain trauma.
The best cure for a traumatic brain injury is prevention. There are many ways that the risk of a traumatic brain injury can be reduced.
Here are just some:
- Wear a seat belt every time you are in a motor vehicle.
- Buckle your child into a seat restraint or booster seat.
- Wear a helmet and make sure your child wears a helmet when riding a bicycle, motorcycle, skiing, snowmobiling, ice skating, in line skating or skate boarding.
- Helmets are also important on the baseball and football fields.
Tripping hazards should be removed from floors including throw rugs and non slip surfaces need to be installed in bathtubs and on shower floors. Grab bars on the sides of bath tubs and showers also help to reduce falls as does handrails on both sides of stairways.
Window guards on windows and the installation of safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs also prevent needless traumatic brain injury to our children. In playgrounds, brain injuries can be significantly reduced by installing shock absorbing safety material.
When a brain injury occurs, it is necessary to seek the assistance of a qualified attorney who understands the significant and permanent consequences that can take place after this invisible injury.