Articles Tagged with head injury

Washington residents may have heard a lot about traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, in recent years. From the shooting of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords to lawsuits over repeated concussions suffered by NFL players, TBIs have been all over the news.

The extra attention is helpful because the Centers for Disease Control reports that TBIs are a major cause of disability and death in the United States. In 2010, around 2.5 million emergency room visits, hospital stays or deaths were tied to TBIs, and the condition played a part in approximately 30 percent of all injury deaths in the country.

TBIs can occur due to a blow or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury, such as a gunshot wound, that interrupts a person’s normal brain function. TBIs can be mild, meaning a person may feel dizzy or briefly lose consciousness, or severe, meaning a person may be unconscious for a long period of time or experience significant memory loss. Most TBIs reported are mild and are referred to as concussions.

Over the past several years, the media has paid an increasing amount of attention to the subject of concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) suffered by professional and amateur athletes. When an individual suffers a brain injury, even if the injury is seemingly mild, he or she can experience consequences for years to come. When athletes repeatedly sustain head injuries, the long-term consequences of this trend can be devastating.

As a result of increased media attention and public scrutiny, a number of concussion and TBI-related studies have been conducted in order to better understand how to prevent, diagnose and treat these injuries. Most recently, the Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth released a study comparing concussion rates among high school and collegiate athletes. This committee is affiliated with the National Academy of Sciences and the study was partially funded by the NFL.

According to the experts who conducted the study, high school athletes remain at a nearly 50 percent higher risk for sustaining concussions than collegiate athletes are. To make matters worse for this age group, the study has determined that both high school and collegiate athletes face a culture of resistance when it comes to both following head injury treatment plans and reporting concussions in the first place.