Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) affect millions of Americans every year. The following list of common questions is designed to provide an understanding and awareness of TBIs. Such knowledge can help people better prevent injuries sustained by themselves and others.
What is a traumatic brain injury?
A traumatic brain injury is any injury that negatively affects brain function. These can be caused by something as small as a bump or as significant as a car accident. On the lighter end, symptoms range from temporary mental alteration or unconsciousness. More severe injuries can lead to memory loss, lengthy loss of consciousness, or even death. Fortunately, the majority of TBIs are nothing more than concussions.
How many people suffer from TBIs?
Millions of people suffer traumatic brain injuries every year, including hundreds of thousands of children. Of the 2.5 million people who sustained TBIs in 2010, more than 50,000 did not survive. Many more are left seriously injured as a result of brain trauma.
What accidents typically cause TBIs?
In the U.S., the large majority of TBIs are caused by falls. Almost half of all such injuries, including the majority of TBIs suffered by children younger than 15 and adults older than 65. Other significant causes include blunt trauma, vehicle accidents, and assaults. All other causes of traumatic brain injuries account cause 20% of related incidents.
What are risk factors for a traumatic brain injury?
As mentioned, falling is the leading cause of TBI-related injury. The greatest factor for such injuries seems to be age: adults aged at 65 years or older suffer a higher rate of fatal TBI injuries than any other age group.
Beyond this, each age group is at risk for brain injury in different types of accidents:
- Children (0-4 years old) are more likely to pass away on account of assault.
- Adults aged 65+ are more likely to suffer fatal injury from a fall.
- Children (0-14) and adults (45+) are most likely to be hospitalized because of a fall.
- People aged 5-24 are at the greatest risk for TBI-related death in a vehicle accident.
- Those between 15 and 44 years of age are most likely to be hospitalized after a motor crash.
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