On average, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) affect more than 1.7 million Americans per year and play a contributing role in nearly one-third of all injury-related deaths. Caused by a sudden bump, blow, or jolt to the head, TBIs disrupt the normal function of the human brain. As a result, victims of TBIs may experience a variety of cognitive difficulties, including trouble controlling their thoughts, emotions, senses, and language. Beyond these immediate effects, TBIs can have serious long-term consequences, including a greater risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and other similar brain disorders.
In recent years, problems within the NFL and other contact sports have brought sports-related TBIs to the forefront of our national dialogue. It is important, however, that the discussion not stop there. While sports-related injuries may generate the biggest headlines, their publicity far outweighs their prevalence. Contrary to what ESPN may lead you to believe, statistics show that everyday people engaged everyday activities are the ones most likely to suffer a traumatic injury to their brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the leading causes of TBIs are slip-and-fall accidents and motor vehicle collisions. Representing 35% and 17% of all TBIs, respectively, these commonplace injuries pose the greatest threat to unsuspecting, everyday people. Unlike athletes, victims of such accidents do not have an on-site medical staff to check for TBIs. As a result, most victims of TBIs never receive an adequate diagnosis, let alone proper medical treatment.
As the aforementioned statistics make painfully clear, TBI is a serious medical issue that requires immediate medical attention. If left untreated, a slight headache today could prove far more serious down the road. With that in mind, remember this: if you have been a victim of either a slip-and-fall or motor vehicle accident and believe you are suffering from a TBI, be sure to get the proper medical care for proper evaluation of your head injury.