Nowadays, it is common to hear about the risk of concussions and the efforts to prevent these injuries. News stories often cover this issue frequently when it comes to school or professional sports.
However, concussions and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) pose a risk to many people outside the world of athletics as well.
TBIs are far too common in accidents
Any injuries to the head can be incredibly dangerous – and life-changing. After all, your brain is the center of all cognitive and physical function. Yet, TBIs are also one of the most common injuries in an accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TBIs most commonly result from:
- Falls: The CDC reports that falls are the cause of roughly 52% of hospital visits concerning TBIs. These could involve falls from a height, such as off a ladder, or slip and fall incidents in commercial stores or on someone else’s property.
- Auto accidents: Additionally, motor vehicle accidents are the second most common cause of TBIs. They are the cause of roughly 20% of TBI hospital visits. In a crash, it is common for the sudden impact to lead drivers or passengers to hit their heads on the dashboard or the side of the vehicle.
Hitting your head in these accidents is common, but it can be much more serious than many people believe.
The main risk? Signs of TBIs are often delayed
One of the main issues of these serious injuries is that the signs and symptoms of TBIs might not appear until a few days or even weeks after the accident. They are internal injuries, and there is a chance that they might be overlooked initially.
After any kind of accident, whether you or a loved one suffers injuries from a fall or a crash, it is important to be on the lookout for common symptoms of TBIs, including:
- Headaches that will not go away
- Distinct and frequent mood changes
- Memory issues and confusion
- Consistent fatigue
- Slurring speech
Carefully watching out for these delayed signs can help to ensure you seek the medical attention you need as soon as possible and stay safe, even after an accident.