Every year in the United States, according to the Brain Injury Association of America, approximately 2.5 million people suffer a traumatic brain injury. Most are treated in emergency departments, and at least 280,000 are hospitalized. Annually, 50,000 of those who experience a TBI die.
Some events that result in TBIs include large commercial vehicle accidents, construction site accidents, off-shore rig accidents, ordinary vehicular accidents and even falls. Some have died a few hours after what seemed to be a simple fall while engaging in sporting activities, such as skiing, not realizing the trauma was that severe.
In addition to the person who suffers the injury, family members also find their lives changed. Recovery is often slow, and many of those who are injured find that they need long-term care and that their lives are never again the same.
Why there is a Brain Injury Awareness month
Brain Injury Awareness month is designed to educate the public about the high incidence of brain injuries and how to recognize and prevent them. The theme for 2015-2017 is “Not Alone.” This applies to the injured person and family members. The idea is to “empower those who have survived” and promote the services that are available to them.
Signs and symptoms of a TBI
If you or someone you love has suffered head trauma, it is important to seek medical care immediately. Permanent damage or even death may be prevented with early diagnosis and treatment. Some symptoms occur immediately. Others may show up days, weeks or months after the injury.
There are a number of signs to watch for, including headache, blurred vision, memory loss, fatigue, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting. Many other sensory or psychological changes, ranging from light sensitivity to seizures to unconsciousness, may be indications of a TBI.
In most cases, there is no cure for a TBI, and those who are victims of such an injury will likely suffer in varying degrees for the remainder of their lives. That makes prevention extremely important. Some preventive measures include, but are not limited to:
- Wearing a seatbelt when driving or riding in any vehicle, including a large commercial vehicle.
- Wearing a helmet when participating in any sport in which there is a potential for falling. This includes bicycle riding, skiing, skateboard riding, horseback riding, snowboarding, skating and others.
- Making sure that children always ride in an appropriate safety seat or booster chair.
- Using stairway rails.
- Not getting distracted when climbing on ladders and being sure that ladders are stable.
- Following all safety recommendations when working on construction or offshore rigging projects.
What to do if you suspect someone has suffered a TBI
People who have experienced an accident causing a head injury need immediate medical attention. Signs the injury is becoming more serious include a headache that gets worse instead of better, confusion, one pupil larger than the other, slurred speech, inability to recognize familiar people, and slipping into unconsciousness.
Call a Texas personal injury lawyer
If you have had any type of accident causing you to suffer a TBI, or if someone you love has died as the result of an accident causing a TBI, you need the services of an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer with a track record of success. Medical expenses mount, and wages are continually lost. At Zehl and Associates Brain Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to making certain you receive all the compensation to which you are entitled.