March is Brain Injury Awareness Month
Brain injuries are among the most devastating injuries individuals may suffer. Although many individuals are able to successfully recover from their brain injuries, some injuries are so serious that long-term care is necessary. Those who suffer brain injuries may no longer be able to complete daily tasks, such as getting dressed or taking a shower, on their own.
Every March, thousands of people from across the country head to the nation’s capital on Brain Injury Awareness Day. Participants include the Brain Injury Association of America, the National Disability Rights Network, and the National Association of State Head Injury Administrators. The Congressional Brain Injury Task Force is co-chaired by Representative Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Representative Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ). The task force declared that March 22 is Brain Injury Awareness Day.
The causes of brain injuries
Brain injuries are divided into two types: traumatic and non-traumatic.
Traumatic brain injuries are caused by some type of external force, such as a blow to the head. Non-traumatic injuries are caused by something within the brain, such as a stroke.
Common traumatic brain injury causes include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Shaken baby syndrome
- Work-related injuries
- Abuse, such as domestic violence or child abuse
Non-traumatic brain injury causes may include:
- Infectious diseases
- Drug overdoses
- A lack of oxygen
- Metabolic disorders
- Neurotoxic poisoning (such as carbon monoxide poisoning)
Brain injuries range in severity based on the cause of the injury.
Diagnosis of brain injuries
It is extremely important to have a brain injury diagnosed as early as possible. In many cases, the effects of a brain injury become more serious over time. Additionally, the sooner a brain injury is diagnosed, the more likely it is that medical intervention will provide substantial benefits. If a person waits too long to seek medical treatment, irreversible damage may occur to the brain.
To ensure a brain injury is diagnosed in a timely manner, it is important to know the signs of a brain injury. These include:
- A loss of balance
- A loss of consciousness
- Spinal fluid leaking from the ears or nose (spinal fluid is a clear, thin liquid)
- Dilated pupils, or pupils that are unequal sizes
- Difficulty breathing
- A slower breathing rate
- Difficulty speaking
- Unusual emotional responses
- Inability to control the bladder or bowels
Other symptoms may also be indicative of a brain injury. Any unusual symptoms should always be reported to a medical professional.
Treatment for brain injuries
The treatment for a brain injury will vary depending on the symptoms the individual is presenting.
Emergency room visits are common after a brain injury, and hospitalization may be required. In severe cases, the individual may need to stay in the intensive care unit for a period of time. Evaluation by neurologists and other specialists may also be necessary.
Many individuals who suffer brain injuries need extended care. They may need to work with a therapist in a rehabilitation center to learn how to complete daily chores again. If the individual is able to live at home, outpatient treatment may be needed. In addition, there are a number of facilities that offer round-the-clock care for those who have suffered brain injuries.
Medical technology is improving all the time—however, brain injuries are still debilitating for many. Taking precautions, such as wearing helmets and other safety gear, paying attention while driving, installing carbon monoxide detectors, and other measures significantly reduce the odds of suffering a brain injury.
If you have suffered a brain injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact Leonard Legal Group today
At Leonard Legal Group, our compassionate New Jersey brain injury attorneys understand how devastating brain injuries can be on you and your family. To schedule your free consultation with our attorneys to learn about your legal rights, call (973) 984-1414 or contact us online.