The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says, every year, 1.7 million people sustain Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) with 1.3 million emergency room visits, 275,000 hospitalizations, and 52,000 deaths. The CDC also says that brain injuries are “a contributing factor to a third (30.5%) of all injury-related deaths in the United States.”
So, if brain traumas are a major contributor to so many deaths, what is the major contributor to so many brain traumas? In his book “Traumatic Brain Injury Survival Guide,” Neurologist Glen Johnson says most of the patients who come to him with brain injuries suffered their injuries as a result of car accidents.
Dr. Johnson goes on to outline the different classifications of head injuries, Open and Closed:
Open Head Injury (OHI)
Open head injuries often come as a result of hitting one’s head on any number of surfaces: windshields, steering wheels, etc. These injuries cause bruising and fracturing of the skull, external damages which alert doctors of possible internal trauma to the brain.
Closed Head Injury (CHI)
Closed head injuries are harder to identify. Similar to a hyperextension (or “whiplash”) injury, an abrupt stop in an automobile can jostle the brain, pushing it against the skull to cause bruising, bleeding or tearing with no discernible marks on the skull’s exterior. Such injuries can result in brain swelling which, due to the limited space within the skull, might put pressure on the brain, thereby damaging brain tissue.
If you’ve experienced a head injury and are unsure if you require medical assistance, here is a list of symptoms attributed to mild brain injuries, complements of Traumatic Brain Injury.com:
· Memory loss
· Balance issues
For a more detailed description of mild brain injury symptoms, go here.
Whether open or closed, not all head injuries are apparent right away, and even mild injuries can require medical attention. If you believe you have in any way suffered a brain injury, you should seek medical attention at once.