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An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): What You Need to Know

//An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): What You Need to Know
An Overview of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): What You Need to Know 2017-08-22T21:58:12+00:00

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;
  • confusion;
  • 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: 

  • surgery;
  • 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.

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