Maryland Brain Injury Association: March is Brain Injury Awareness Month

The Brain Injury Association of America announces that March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The group hopes to raise awareness of the seriousness of head injuries and traumatic brain injury (TBI) — particularly in regards to school sports injuries. The group’s website offers resources about head injury, fall and accident prevention, and brain physiology, explaining that the brain can be injured even if the head isn’t struck (such as in a whiplash car accident, where the neck and head are jarred violently).

The Brain Injury Association of America has a Maryland office and plans to hold an educational conference in Towson, Maryland, in April.

As Baltimore County, Maryland injury lawyers know from experience with client families, debilitating and deadly brain injuries can result from a number of scenarios, including car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that an astonishing 1.4 million people suffer a TBI in the U.S. every year, with some 235,000 people requiring hospitalization and 50,000 dying from their traumatic brain injuries. Primary causes:

o Motor vehicle crashes cause 20% percent of traumatic brain injuries,
o Falls cause 28% (always a concern for the elderly, including those in nursing homes),
o Being struck by something/striking against something causes 19%, and
o Assaults cause 11% of traumatic brain injuries.
o Other causes: Suicide (1%), other transport (2%), pedal cycle (3%), other (7%), unknown (9%).

(Source: CDC, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, “What is traumatic brain injury?,” TBI Causes, collected online March 4, 2010.)

Maryland injury and wrongful death attorneys are, unfortunately, all too aware of circumstances where medical negligence results in a failure to properly and promptly diagnose and treat a traumatic brain injury in time to prevent permanent brain damage or death. Seconds count with these most serious of medical emergencies.

The news media has paid increased attention to the subject of brain injuries since the death of actress Natasha Richardson in 2009, following what at first seemed to be a mild fall on a beginner ski slope. Like many traumatic brain injury victims, Richardson was initially able to speak and appeared to be relatively uninjured. However she complained of a headache and fell unconscious hours later. She died due to an epidural hematoma — bleeding inside the brain which can build up pressure and cause the brain to shift, cutting off the blood supply and causing death.

Brain Injury Association of America

Maryland Brain Injury Association

CDC: Traumatic Brain Injury

WebMD: Natasha Richardson Dies of Epidural Hematoma
WebMD Health News, March 19, 2009

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