Traumatic brain injury may occur as a result of an injury or an accident. Brain injuries can happen to infants, children, adults and elderly alike. Sadly, brain injuries often go undiagnosed. Many of the typical symptoms of a “mild” to “moderate” traumatic brain injury are difficult to notice, even in the emergency room. It is important to know that because brain injuries are difficult to detect, victims rarely receive prompt treatment for their physical and cognitive impairment. In fact, health practitioners often misdiagnose a brain injury or fail to diagnose all together.
A brain injury can easily occur when a force impacts the head causing the brain to move inside of the skull, or in an extreme case breaking through the skull and impacting the brain directly. Among the elderly, the most common cause of brain injuries is a fall. Brain injuries often occur with infants as a result of being shaken violently.
If you suspect a brain injury has occurred, you need to look for symptoms, which can include:
- Victim’s progressive social isolation and alienation, even from immediate family and friends
- Lack of memory and recall
- Reduced level of comprehension including basic information
- Lack of clear judgment
- Slurred speech and incoherent sentences
- Violent behavior
- Inability to process information at pre-injury rates of speed
- Reduced sense of taste and smell
Brain injury statistics are staggering and will likely surprise you. Some of which include:
- Every 15 seconds, someone in the US will get a brain injury
- The estimated cost to treat someone with a brain injury over a lifetime is between $600,000 to $1.8 million
- Of these, 50,000 will die, 235,000 will be hospitalized, and more than 80,000 will be left with life-long disabilities
- Brain injuries are the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults
- The leading causes of brain injuries are falls (28%), motor vehicle accidents (20%), being struck or banging head against an object (19%), and assault (11%).
- Males are about 1.5 times more likely to sustain a brain injury than females
- The two highest-risk age groups are 0-4 and 15-19 years of age