Traumatic Brain Injury, or TBI, is a term you may hear in reference to the injuries one may sustain in a car crash or other type of accident – but do you know what it actually means? Traumatic brain injuries can cause a slew of life-altering issues and may even lead to death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that more than 1.5 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury each year.
How is a TBI caused?
A blow, bump or severe jolt to the head, or an item penetrating the head, can cause a TBI.
These types of injuries may occur in:
- car accidents;
- bicycle accidents; or
- slip and falls.
The extent of a brain injury can range from mild to severe.
What are the symptoms of a TBI?
As the severity of a TBI can vary, so do the symptoms. There are some tell-tale redflags you should look out for if you or a loved one have suffered a blow to the head:
- nausea or vomiting;
- severe headache;
- disturbances in vision;
- slurred speech;
- loss of consciousness or “blacking out;”
- seizures; and
- dilated pupils.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you’ve been in an accident, especially if you’ve hit your head. Failure to treat a TBI, even a mild one, can cause real and permanent damage to the brain.
A doctor may recommend a variety of methods to help a person who has suffered a head injury, like:
- rehabilitation; and
- prescription drugs are just some of the ways a TBI may be treated.
While we can’t always anticipate an accident, there are things we can do in our everyday lives that may help prevent a TBI.
To reduce the risk of brain injury it is recommended that you:
- always wear a seatbelt;
- never drink and drive, or get into a car with someone who is impaired;
- wear a helmet on bicycles, motorcycles and during more dangerous recreational activities;
- install and/or use handrails on stairs;
- keep floors clear of clutter; and
- use safety gates in homes with small children.
No one expects to be the victim of something like a traumatic brain injury, but it’s important to understand the implications and how to deal with them should you find yourself with a TBI.