TBI Stats

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said about 3.5 million people have a TBI in the United States and:

— 2.1 million received care in emergency departments.

— 300,000 were hospitalized.

— 84,000 were seen in outpatient departments.

— 1.1 million received care from office-based physicians.

— 53,000 died.

Previously referred to as the “Silent Epidemic,” individuals with a TBI might not have any visible scars, and symptoms might not show up or be noticed until hours or days later, but it can cause short or long-term problems seriously affecting thinking, learning, memory and/or emotions.

A TBI can affect all aspects of an individual’s life, as well as that of their loved ones. It affects the injured’s ability to work, be employed, do household tasks, or drive a car.

Ways to reduce the risk of a TBI include:

— Wearing a seat belt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle.

— Never driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

— Avoiding distracting activities while driving such as using a cellphone, texting and eating.

— Wearing a helmet and making sure children wear helmets while riding a bike. I believe these numbers are higher due to head injuries not being reported and not being diagnosed properly.Living With Brain Injury:

Brain injury is unpredictable in its consequences. Brain injury affects who we are, the way we think, act, and feel. It can change everything about us in a matter of seconds. The most important things to remember: 
• A person with a brain injury is a person first 
• No two brain injuries are exactly the same 
• The effects of a brain injury are complex and vary greatly from person to person 
• The effects of a brain injury depend on such factors as cause, location, and severity

The leading causes of TBI are:
• Falls (35.2%) 
• Motor vehicle-traffic crashes (17.3%)
• Struck by/against events (16.5%) 
• Assaults (10%)

A Healthy Brain
To understand what happens when the brain is injured, it is important to realize what a healthy brain is made of and what it does. The brain is enclosed inside the skull. The skull acts as a protective covering for the soft brain. The brain is made of neurons (nerve cells). The neurons form tracts that route throughout the brain. These nerve tracts carry messages to various parts of the brain. The brain uses these messages to perform functions. The functions include our coordinating our body’s systems, such as breathing, heart rate, body temperature, and metabolism; thought processing; body movements; personality; behavior; and the senses, such as vision, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. Each part of the brain serves a specific function and links with other parts of the brain to form more complex functions. All parts of the brain need to be working well in order for the brain to work well. Even “minor” or “mild” injuries to the brain can significantly disrupt the brain’s ability to function.

An Injured Brain
When a brain injury occurs, the functions of the neurons, nerve tracts, or sections of the brain can be affected. If the neurons and nerve tracts are affected, they can be unable or have difficulty carrying the messages that tell the brain what to do. This can change the way a person thinks, acts, feels, and moves the body. Brain injury can also change the complex internal functions of the body, such as regulating body temperature; blood pressure; bowel and bladder control. These changes can be temporary or permanent. They may cause impairment or a complete inability to perform a function.

Functions of the Brain

The brain is divided into main functional sections, called lobes. These sections or brain lobes are called the Frontal Lobe, Temporal Lobe, Parietal Lobe, Occipital Lobe, the Cerebellum, and the Brain Stem. Each has a specific function as described below. 

Parietal Lobe Functions

Sense of touch
Spatial perception
Differentiation (identification) of size, shapes, and colors
Visual perception 
Occipital Lobe Functions

Cerebellum Lobe Functions

Skilled motor activity 
Visual perception 
Brain Stem Functions

Arousal and consciousness
Attention and concentration 
Heart rate
Sleep and wake cycles 
Frontal Lobe Functions

Attention and concentration
Speaking (expressive language)
Motor planning and initiation
Awareness of abilities and limitations
Mental flexibility
Inhibition of behavior
Problem solving 
Planning and anticipation

Temporal Lobe Functions

Understanding language (receptive language)
Right or Left Brain

The functional sections or lobes of the brain are also divided into right and left sides. The right side and the left side of the brain are responsible for different functions. General patterns of dysfunction can occur if an injury is on the right or left side of the brain. 

Injuries of the left side of the brain can cause:

Difficulties in understanding language (receptive language)
Difficulties in speaking or verbal output (expressive language)
Catastrophic reactions (depression, anxiety)
Verbal memory deficits
Impaired logic
Sequencing difficulties
Decreased control over right-sided body movements
Injuries of the right side of the brain can cause:

Visual-spatial impairment
Visual memory deficits
Left neglect (inattention to the left side of the body)
Decreased awareness of deficits
Altered creativity and music perception
Loss of “the big picture” type of thinking
Decreased control over left-sided body movements
Diffuse Brain Injury (The injuries are scattered throughout both sides of the brain) can cause:

Reduced thinking speed
Reduced attention and concentration
Impaired cognitive (thinking) skills in all areas
~Shared by TBI Life Coach~http://www.slideshare.net/gmeyer9904/how-the-brain-recovers-presentation-938309

How The Brain Recovers
TBI educational presentation for family/caretaker of a person with a traumatic brain injury
In the military between 2000 and the second quarter of 2012, more than 253,000 service members sustained a TBI. Brain injury has become the signature wound of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most brain injuries are mild, and most people recover in a matter of weeks. BrainLineMilitary.org provides military-specific information and resources on traumatic brain injury to veterans; service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, and Reserve; and their families.
Head injury requires plenty of rest. Concussion is the most common type of head injury. Headaches and mild cognitive (thought) problems are common while the brain is recovering from an injury. Do not drive after a head injury. It is common to not be able to remember the events surrounding the head injury.

The hard skull and facial bones protect the brain, which is a soft organ. If the skull is injured, then the brain becomes more vulnerable. When someone has a knock to the head, the brain moves about and can knock against the skull and facial bones. This type of injury may cause the brain to swell and even bleed. 

The most common type of head injury is concussion. Concussion may or may not be associated with loss of consciousness (blackout). The loss of consciousness is often brief and is normally followed by a rapid and complete recovery. Always seek medical attention for a head injury.

First aid for concussion

If you think someone may have a concussion, use the following steps:
Check to make sure the scene is safe.
Check for loss of consciousness.
If the person is unconscious, check their ABC (airway, breathing, circulation)
Do not move the person unless absolutely necessary.
Check the person’s mental awareness.
Check the person’s eyes.
Watch for vomiting.
Keep the person awake for a period of time to see if their condition gets worse.
Be aware that complaints can subside only to appear later on and be worse.
Be aware that children can become worse very quickly.
Treatment for a head injury

While in the emergency department at hospital, you can expect:
Mild painkillers for any headache
To have nothing to eat or drink until further advised
Anti-nausea tablets for any nausea or vomiting
An x-ray of the neck, if you have any neck pain
A CT scan, if needed
For a mild head injury, to be discharged home with family or friends. Ask for a certificate for work, if needed.
Taking care of yourself at home

Be guided by your doctor, but self-care suggestions include:
Don’t drive home from the hospital. Ask someone to give you a lift or catch a taxi.
Rest quietly for the day.
Use icepacks over any swollen or painful area.
Take simple painkillers such as paracetamol for any headache. Check the packet for the right dose.
Arrange for someone to stay with you for the next 24 hours, in case you need help.
Don’t eat or drink for the first six to 12 hours, unless advised otherwise by the doctor.
Once you can eat again, have small amounts of light food and drink in moderation.
Avoid alcohol for at least 24 hours.
Don’t take sedatives or other drugs unless instructed by your doctor.
Children are allowed to sleep, but should be woken every four hours to check their condition and gauge their reaction to familiar things.
What to expect after a head injury

There is no specific treatment for mild head injury other than plenty of rest and not overdoing things. Keep in mind that:
It is common to not be able to remember the events surrounding the head injury.
It is normal to feel more tired than usual.
It can take some time for the brain to recover from a head injury. During this time, headaches, dizziness and mild cognitive (thought) problems are common.
Brain function problems can include mood changes and difficulties with concentrating, remembering things and performing complex tasks.
Most people make a full recovery and the symptoms only last a few days.
Some people have ongoing symptoms. If this is the case, visit your local doctor.
When to seek urgent medical care

Seek urgent medical care if you have:
Severe headaches
Vomited more than twice
Memory problems
A seizure (fit or spasm of arms, legs or face)
Difficulty staying awake
Blood or clear fluid coming from your ears or nose
Neck stiffness
Numbness, tingling, pins and needles, or weakness in your arms or legs
Confusion, slurred speech or unusual behaviour
Blurred or double vision
A high temperature, which may indicate the presence of infection
Any other concerns.
Resuming normal activities after a head injury

It is best to wait until you are feeling better. Don’t go to work or school until you have fully recovered. The length of time to wait varies, as it depends on the type of work or study that you do and how severe the head injury was. Ask your doctor for advice. 

Don’t return to sport until all symptoms have gone and you are feeling better. This is because reaction times and thinking will often be slower, so you are at risk of further injury. If you have another head injury before you have fully recovered, this may be even worse than the first head injury.

A second concussion that occurs before your brain recovers from the first – usually within a short period of time (hours, days or weeks) – can slow recovery or increase the likelihood of having long-term problems. In rare cases, repeat concussions can result in brain swelling (oedema), permanent brain damage and even death. 

Where to get help
In an emergency, always call triple zero (000)
Your doctor
Emergency department of your nearest hospital.
Things to remember
Always seek medical attention for a head injury.
There is no specific treatment for mild head injury other than plenty of rest and not overdoing things. It can take some time for the brain to recover from a head injury and during this time, headaches, dizziness and mild cognitive (thought) problems are common.
Don’t go to work or school, or resume sporting activity, until you have fully recovered.

Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional.