Traumatic brain injury a leading cause of death in the U.S.

Wednesday May 7, 2014

Statistics indicate that New Haven, Connecticut, records the largest number of motor vehicle fatalities in the state. Combined with the fact that motor vehicle crashes are found to be one of the most common causes of traumatic brain injury related deaths, the New Haven area may possibly lead the state in these types of injuries as well.

A shock to the head in the form of a bump or a blow or an impact, which manages to penetrate the head, are the usual causes of a traumatic brain injury. Although a mild brain injury might cause temporary dysfunctions, a serious head injury can cause physical damage to the brain resulting in permanent disability or death.

A blow to the head can cause a hematoma – bleeding under the skin which may result in localized swelling or bruising. If the injury is severe enough, it might cause an intracranial hematoma, a serious medical condition that increases pressure on the brain.

The signs of a brain injury may appear within moments of the traumatic injury, or it might even take days or weeks for the signs to manifest. In cases of moderate to severe brain injuries, the symptoms most likely to show up within the first few hours or days include short or prolonged loss of consciousness, serious confusion, agitation, speech problems, coordination issues, nausea and seizures.

A doctor needs to be consulted immediately in case these symptoms occur shortly after a head injury. Medical personnel and doctors use a 15 point test known as the Glasgow coma scale to assess the severity of the injury and act accordingly.

On an average, 138 people lose their lives on a daily basis because of conditions related to brain injuries. Motor vehicle and bicycle accidents, sporting injuries, unintentional blunt trauma and falls are among the top causes of severe brain injury in the United States. If an individual suffers a brain injury due to the negligence of another, the victim and their family should understand their legal options.

Source: Calaveras Enterprise, “Just a bump on the head? Brain injuries not uncommon,” Judy Georgiou, April 25, 2014

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