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A primer on traumatic brain injuries

The term “traumatic brain injury” is a highly accurate description of the various situations that can be classified within this condition. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain that any type of jolt, blow or bump to the brain, including that caused by a penetration of the skull, can cause a traumatic brain injury. With approximately 138 deaths due to TBIs in the U.S. daily, they account for roughly 30 percent of all injury fatalities each year.

WebMD.com notes that when a person’s head is hit or hits something in some fashion, the brain is susceptible to swelling, bruising and even bleeding if the delicate brain tissue is torn. These injuries can result in visible symptoms of impairment for a few days or, in severe cases, for life. The effects can be seen in several areas. Examples include gross and fine motor control and speech. Mental cognition can also be negatively impacted insofar as a person’s memory or ability to learn can be hindered.

The primary treatment for a mild traumatic brain injury may be rest. Treatments for more extensive injuries may involve the prescribing of pain or sleep medications, speech therapy, physical therapy or occupational therapy. These efforts can help victims to maintain or improve their everyday living skills. It is also not uncommon for TBI sufferers to battle depression or anxiety due to their lost functions. Therefore, counseling or even medications prescribed to help these conditions may be necessary.

Among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries are falls, blunt trauma and automobile accidents. Together, they account for roughly 70 percent of all TBIs each year.

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