Traumatic brain injury, commonly referred to as intracranial injury, takes place when an external factor causes harm to the brain, which can be correlated with neurologic deficits. More often than not, traumatic brain injury is the outcome of a violent blow to the head. Other causes include auto accidents, firearms, and falls. The wounds can be fatal. Every day, individuals in America die from TBI. It is the number one cause of death in the U.S. People who manage to survive, suffer chronic consequences that lead to permanent disabilities. Examples include but are not limited to seizures, trouble sleeping, neurodegenerative diseases, and psychiatric issues. To promote advocacy, understanding, and reduce injury rates, we will discuss the prevalence of traumatic brain injury in the United States.
How serious is the problem, really?
- Back in 2014, roughly 2,5 million people ended up in the emergency room due to traumatic brain injury. Most of them were children under the age of 14. Unintentional falls and road crashes were behind the visits classified as concussions or unspecified head injuries. ED visits have remained stable over the years.
- In the United States, between 500 and 100,000 deaths injury-induced deaths are reported every year. The good news is that the vast majority of cases. i.e. 75%, are classified as mild head injuries. What exactly does mild mean? Well, the symptoms get better in a month or so. Most importantly, there is no reason to worry about long-term risks.
- Attention needs to be paid to the fact that these figures represent an underestimate of the real number of traumatic brain injuries because there are many individuals who do not seek medical attention. Equally important is mentioning that TBIs of all degrees have started to receive considerable attention owing to increased media focus. It is true that there is a growing level of awareness, but the issue is still misunderstood.
Traumatic brain injury in older adults: current situation
Older adults present a higher risk of TBI injuries. To be more precise, they are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries. Since 2014, the rates have been highest for individuals over the age of 75. There is an explanation. Cerebral atrophy increases TBI risk in older adults who happen to fall. What happens is that the blood vessels shrink and become prone to damage. Not only do seniors suffer head trauma, but also they stay longer in the hospital. Old people who are hospitalized for the treatment of fall-related injuries are more vulnerable, which is why they need more time to recover.
It can be difficult to establish a diagnosis if the patient’s baseline cognitive function is not known. Medical professionals are required to reach out to family members or caregivers who know the patient. The information they get helps them establish whether or not neurosurgical intervention is necessary. As a rule, the elderly can make a full recovery. As opposed to younger patients, who exercise more independence, older people need more support. Nevertheless, they do not experience neurobehavioral symptoms, such as cognitive dysfunction.
Does gender influence the outcome in any way?
Both men and women can experience traumatic brain injury. However, men have twice the chances of sustaining a head injury than women do. Why so? We do not know. What is certain is that the severity of injuries is more serious among male patients than female patients. Results from controlled experiments in animals suggest that estrogen and progesterone act as protective elements. Not that many studies offer information regarding sexes. Put simply, there are very few studies that take into account the interconnections between sex and gender.
Due to the fact that men are more likely to sustain a head injury, researchers should focus their attention on their experience with traumatic brain injury. Many are of the opinion that sex and gender should be left out from the equation. Anyway, the problem of TBI should not be overlooked. Millions of people are injured every year and, unfortunately, we are at a point where there is very little data about how TBY affects the body. We are hoping for new directions in research and therapy.
Personal injury claims for traumatic brain injury
If a person is seriously injured as the result of a road accident or medical malpractice, that person can sue. The fact is that if someone else caused the traumatic brain injury, the injured person can seek compensation. Is this really necessary? Yes, because after the unfortunate event, the person in question has to pay for long-term care. It is estimated that rehabilitation for the survivors of head injury runs from $90,000 to $5 million. That is a lot of money. The person struggles to pay medical bills, not to mention that they suffer from emotional problems.
When it comes to a brain injury lawsuit, the first thing to do is to contact a lawyer who specializes in this type of litigation. Lawsuits raise complex legal and medical issues, so it is necessary to get in touch with a traumatic brain injury lawyer. Compensation can be obtained for physical and emotional pain, disability, disfigurement, medical expenses, loss of quality of life, and so forth. Most law firms work on a contingency basis, which means that they are paid if they win. Baltimore jury recently awarded a record of $229 for a brain injury case. The case involved a 16-year-old mother who underwent a cesarean section, which results in serious brain injuries to her daughter.
Raising awareness about traumatic brain injury
Finally yet importantly, it is of paramount importance to raise awareness about traumatic brain injury. People need to clearly understand the risks associated with head injuries and what preventative measures they can take. The importance of something like this cannot be overstated. Traumatic brain injury is a silent epidemic, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls it. TBI can transform a normal life into an ongoing battle. Not only is it necessary to de-stigmatize the issue, but also to empower those who have survived trauma to the brain. Only by raising awareness can we solve the problem.