Traumatic Brain Injuries: Facts and Figures
Traumatic brain injuries most commonly occur when someone suffers a hard blow or other violent movement to the head. Traumatic brain injuries can also occur if an object pierces the skull. Depending on the nature of the traumatic brain injury, the affected individual may recover in a few weeks or months, or the individual may be permanently disabled and require constant care.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.7 million people who suffer traumatic brain injuries every year. Of these individuals, 52,000 die, and 275,000 require hospital stays. More than 1.3 million people are seen at emergency departments for traumatic brain injuries annually.
It is estimated that roughly one-third of all deaths caused by an injury are at least partially due to traumatic brain injuries. However, about 75 percent of the traumatic brain injuries that occur are mild, such as concussions. Still, this does not mean that traumatic brain injuries should be taken lightly.
Who is most at risk of suffering a traumatic brain injury?
There are three age groups that are most likely to suffer traumatic brain injuries:
- Children ages 4 years old and younger;
- Adolescents between 15 and 19 years of age; and
- Adults 65 years of age and older.
In each of these groups, males are more likely to sustain traumatic brain injuries. Males aged 4 and under have the highest rates of deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits combined.
What are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries?
Motor vehicle accidents are cited as the top cause of traumatic brain injury deaths. The group with the highest number of traumatic brain injury deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents is adults between the ages of 20 and 24.
Falls are responsible for most traumatic brain injuries, with the highest numbers seen in children aged 4 and under and adults aged 75 and older. Falls also cause the largest number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations for traumatic brain injuries.
How to prevent traumatic brain injuries
There are a number of ways to reduce the odds of suffering a traumatic brain injury.
In motor vehicles, drivers and passengers should always wear seatbelts. Children should always ride in age-appropriate seats and be rear-facing as long as possible. Head protection should always be used when riding bikes and participating in contact sports.
In the homes of older individuals, handrails and other safeguards should be installed. Area rugs should be removed or secured, and proper lighting should be installed throughout the home.
In homes where there are children, gates should be installed at the top of a stairway, and window guards should be used to prevent falls. The stairs should be free of clutter as well.
The symptoms of a traumatic brain injury
If someone suffers a blow to the head, the individual should be carefully observed for signs of a traumatic brain injury. These symptoms include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Headache, especially one that worsens
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sleeping problems
- Speech problems
- Sensory issues
- Changes in mood
- A clear fluid draining from the ears or nose
- Dilated pupils, or pupils that are different sizes
- Numbness or weakness in the toes or fingers
Other symptoms may also be present. It is always best to seek medical attention after sustaining a blow to the head.
If you or a loved one have suffered a head injury because of another person’s negligence, contact our experienced New Jersey brain injury lawyers today
If you have been injured because another person was negligent, you may be entitled to damages. To schedule your free consultation with a skilled New Jersey brain injury attorney, contact Leonard Legal Group to discuss your legal options, call (973) 984-1414 or visit us online.