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The Causes and Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injuries

Kathleen Becker8 months ago

According to a review by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50,000 people died from traumatic brain injuries in 2010. As more attention is brought to the dangers of TBI, it is important for the public to understand how prevalent the problem really is.

TBI Statistics

A traumatic brain injury is an all too common condition that occurs when an outside force causes damage to the brain.

According to Live Science, roughly 2.5 million TBI-related injuries were recorded at hospitals in 2010. The CDC has determined that at least 50,000 of these instances resulted in death.

Individuals over the age of 65 are more inclined of ranking the highest for TBI-related deaths, and men are three times more likely to be diagnosed as having a TBI. 

Causes and Risk Factors

TBIs can occur from a blow to the head once or several times and are often associated with sports such as football and boxing. However, it is important to note that TBIs are not limited to contact sports.

There are a wide range of scenarios that can result in a brain injury, including falls, on the job accidents, being struck by an object, auto accidents, and assaults.

Between 2006 and 2010, falls were responsible for 40% of all TBIs recorded in the United States. Unintentional blunt trauma accounted 15% of TBIs, 14% of TBIs were caused by motor vehicle accidents, and 10% were caused by assault.

Another form of TBI occurs when a baby his shaken or jolted. This is commonly referred to as “shaken baby syndrome.” It is important not that children under four a especially susceptible to TBIs as their brains are still developing.

Identifying a Traumatic Brain Injury

Not all TBIs cause the individual to lose consciousness, and symptoms may not happen right away. In some cases, it may take days or weeks for TBI symptoms to become noticeable, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Common symptoms of TBI include:

  • extreme tiredness
  • excessive sleeping
  • headache
  • excessive vomiting or nausea
  • loss of consciousness
  • loss of balance or dizziness
  • memory loss or concentration problems
  • blurred vision.

In more serious cases, TBIs may result in:

  • slurred speech
  • agitation
  • weakness
  • confusion
  • loss of consciousness
  • severe and persistent headache

With young children, parents should watch for: 

  • changes in sleeping patterns
  • loss of interest in activities
  • excessive crying or irritability 

It is important to remember that for children it's harder for them to express themselves so a parent or caregiver should be more aware of unique behavior.

Treating Traumatic Brain Injuries

It is important for the injured individual to be seen by a healthcare professional as soon as possible as they need to be monitored very closely.  A Glasgow Coma Scale is typically used to determine the severity of the injury.  CT scans and blood work is also used to diagnose TBI.

Rest is ideal for the individual for a milder TBI.  For more moderate or severe treatment, it can vary.  In severe cases, surgery may also be needed.   

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