Top Tips for Brain Injury PreventionRequest Free Consultation
The brain is inarguably the most complex human organ. Weighing in at an average of 3 pounds of delicate tissue, it controls every body system, interprets senses, and provides the means of controlling body movement and behavior. It’s also highly protected inside a bony skull and surrounded by a layer of cushioning fluid. Unfortunately, despite this protection, car and motorcycle accidents make up the largest percentage of deaths related to brain injuries each year, accounting for about half of fatalities in people ages 5 to 24 years while falls account for over 54% of brain-injury deaths in adults over age 65. Sports injuries, assaults, and suicides by firearms are also leading causes of brain injuries in the United States.
Despite awareness, brain injury is still a major cause of death and disability in San Diego as well as in the rest of the U.S. By preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) before they happen, many lives can be saved from significant impairment and death.
What is a Traumatic Brain Injury?
Traumatic brain injuries can be as relatively minor as a slight concussion or as catastrophic as a major brain injury resulting in disability, coma, or death. Brain injuries occur when a jarring motion from impact or shaking causes the brain to bang against the inside of the skull. Despite the layer of cushioning fluid, the delicate brain tissue bruises easily on impact, causing swelling that may deprive parts of the brain of crucial oxygen and nutrients, killing the brain cells. Some impacts also cause the tearing of tiny blood vessels, resulting in brain bleeding, damaging pressure, and loss of oxygen to portions of the brain.
When portions of the brain receive damage, the cells cannot rejuvenate themselves. While some improvements in outcomes may result over time as different areas of the brain serve to compensate for the damaged portions, many brain-injured patients require ongoing care, occupational and physical therapies, and other extensive measures to maximize recovery. Some victims never fully recover.
How to Keep Your Head Safe and Protect Your Brain From Injury
By addressing the most common ways that brain injuries occur, you can help minimize the chances of you or your loved ones suffering a brain injury. Prevent brain injuries by taking the following precautions in each risk situation:
- Reduce the chances of brain injury in motor vehicle crashes by always wearing a seatbelt correctly and following the state laws on infant and child restraints. Children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat. Follow all traffic laws, including adhering to the speed limit.
- Reduce the chances of suffering a brain injury in a motorcycle accident by always wearing a helmet and following speed limit laws and road rules.
- Improve sports safety by teaching children to protect their heads and by modeling safe play practices. Talk to children about reducing the “win at all costs” attitude in sports.
- Reduce the chances of a fall for elderly individuals by minimizing floor clutter, and installing tub bars and handrails. Adding brighter light bulbs, having regular eye checks, and speaking to a doctor about balance and strength exercises also help to minimize the chances of falling.
Impacts of Traumatic Brain Injuries
Even mild brain injuries such as slight concussions can cause headaches, nausea, irritability, and confusion. Repeated concussions, such as in athletes, may eventually result in permanent impairment. More serious TBIs can cause the following effects:
- Memory impairment
- Impaired thinking or cognition
- Problems with the senses such as vision or hearing
- Emotional changes such as depression or anxiety
- Personality changes
- Loss of movement or sensation in parts of the body
More serious TBIs may cause loss of consciousness, coma, and/or death. If you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury it’s essential to see a doctor and seek treatment immediately. Follow all your doctor’s instructions for the best chance of maximizing your recovery.
Preventing brain injuries before they occur is the best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe from harm. If you’ve suffered a brain injury, reach out to our San Diego brain injury attorneys for help with your case.