HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Chattanooga will join the national campaign for awareness of traumatic brain injuries during the month of March. The goal is to bring wide spread awareness to the causes and symptoms of the debilitating injuries and information plays a key role.
BrainandSpinalCord.org estimate that 5.3 million Americans currently live with traumatic brain injuries.
The injuries have a range of origins; the most common being falls. This is particularly true in younger children and the elderly where slipping in the bath, falling down stairs, or off ladders can result in devastating injury even if from a low height.
For young adults, traumatic brain injuries occur most often from vehicle-related accidents. This usually refers to cars but is certainly not limited to them — bikes, motorcycles, and skateboards can also lead to harm.
A smaller percentage, but still of great concern, are brain injuries that result from high-impact sports or violent acts such as domestic and child abuse.
No matter how the injury occurred the results are always devastating. Symptoms of mild brain injuries (or concussions) can include a perpetual state of disorientation, issues with memory or concentration, and chronic dizziness. They can also include less obvious symptoms from feeling anxious or depressed, to constant sleepiness or difficulty sleeping.
The symptoms of severe brain injury are much more pronounced and destructive including loss of bowel control, seizures and convulsions, slurred speech, and intense confusion. It can also result in an inability to wake from sleep or clear fluids seeping from ears and nostrils.
To decrease the risks of suffering from traumatic brain injuries many precautions can be taken. Always secure yourself when in a motor vehicle with a safety belt and make sure your passengers are secured as well. Never drive while drunk or using drugs. Safely store your firearms. And always wear a helmet when riding motorcycles, bikes, ATVs, or any other mode of transportation that can leave you vulnerable to falling onto a hard surface.
Chattanooga’s HealthSouth Hospital will continue to strive to bring awareness throughout the month of March while the national campaign continues across the country.