According to the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 1.7 million people annually are diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury; and about half of serious cases require surgery. “The leading cause of death and disability,” brain injuries affect an estimated two percent of the population in the U.S. The possible means of sustaining a brain injury are almost innumerable, and the consequences can range from passing to permanent.
Although traumatic brain injuries are widespread, they are not spread evenly. Certain categories of persons are disproportionately affected, or rather, affected at different times and places. Thus, people who fit the following descriptions should be more carefully watched—or simply more careful, as the case may be.
Children younger than four, adults older than 65, and teenagers between 15 and 19 are at the highest risk for traumatic brain injuries, likely because these age groups are also at greatest risk for serious falls (the leading cause of brain injury). While some toddling is natural for small children, they are not as invincible as they think they are. Likewise, those old enough to take charge of their health should be provided with the motivation and resources to do so.
Whether because of hormonal differences, more frequent involvement in contact sports, or some combination of other factors, “males are almost twice as likely” to sustain traumatic brain injuries at some point. Depending on the severity of the injury, damage to the brain can diminish one’s ability to participate in accustomed activities; this consideration should be taken into account before engaging in reckless behavior.
It is estimated that 300,000 brain injury cases annually are sports-related. A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission finds that cycling, football, and baseball/softball carry the highest risk for traumatic brain injury among athletic pursuits. Furthermore, traffic accidents contribute to 20% of traumatic brain injuries. These facts are not, of course, an injunction against sports or driving so much as an admonition to exercise particular care while thus occupied.
Certain jobs leave people more vulnerable to injury than others. Military activity in particular can subject the employee to risks. Those working in fields where such risks are commonplace should never become complacent, but exercise caution at all times.
While brain injuries can be daunting, they don’t have to be immutable or debilitating if the injured party receives optimal medical care. In cases where the injury in question arose because of the irresponsible act of some third party, the victim may be due for compensation to help them obtain that care. If you or a loved on is suffering from a brain injury through no fault of their own, Utah personal injury attorneys Christensen & Hymas can offer free advice and stellar service (for which they only charge if their clients’ needs are met). For more information, call (801) 506-0800.
Image courtesy of Liz Henry