Traumatic brain injuries have been in the news because of injuries to football players, soccer players, boxers, and skiers like Formula One race car driver Michael Schumacher.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are more than 1.7 million traumatic brain injuries every year in the United States.30% of injury-related deaths involve a traumatic brain injury and about 50,000 people die every year from brain injuries.
According to the New York Times, at least 50 high-school-age or younger football players have been killed or have sustained serious head injuries on the field since 1997.
According to the NFL, the number of concussions suffered by players in the league declined from 2011 to 2012.Helmet-to-helmet contact caused almost half of the concussions.More concussions occurred when players hit their heads against the playing field or against another player’s knee.
Also according to the Times, although skiers and snowboarders increasingly wear protective helmets, helmet use has not actually led to a decrease in the number of ski slope fatalities or major brain injuries.In fact, injuries have increased at the same rate as helmet use.
Over 70% of snowboarders and skiers and now wear helmets –almost three times as many as a decade ago.New Jersey is the only state that requires skiers and snowboarders 17 and under to wear helmets.
However, helmets can’t always prevent serious head and brain injuries.Helmet use may also make athletes more likely to take risks that lead to injuries.
Brain injuries include:
- nerve damage,
- skull fractures,
- closed head injuries,
- traumatic brain injuries, and
- death due to head injuries.
Brain injuries may be caused by:
- car accidents
- motorcycle accidents
- bicycle accidents
- pedestrian accidents
- birth accidents and birth trauma
- slips and falls
- falling objects
- sporting and recreational activities
- criminal assaults
- construction accidents
- other workplace accidents
The brain may be injured by:
- a blow to the head
- a jolt of the head and neck (such as in a whiplash-type injury)
- an explosion, or
- a penetrating head injury (such as from shrapnel, a bullet, glass, or construction materials).
Traumatic brain injuries can cause temporary problems with brain functions, or permanent disabilities and death.Sometimes symptoms appear right away, but sometimes they don’t appear for months or even years after an injury.
Although most people fully recover from mild brain injuries, in 15% of such cases problems will persist for more than one year.
Symptoms of a mild brain injury include:
- memory problems
Severe brain injuries can cause problems with:
- emotions and emotional control
- the ability to feed or dress oneself
A person with a severe brain injury may need to depend on others for care for the rest of his or her life.A severe brain injury may also lead to a persistent vegetative state in which a patient is unable to communicate at all and unaware of the people around him or her.
If you or your family member has suffered a brain injury due to someone else’s abuse, assault, or negligence, contactour office for a free initial consultation.