A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is caused by a blow or jolt to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Not all blows or jolts to the head result in a TBI. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” i.e., a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” i.e., an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury or TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, being struck or banging your head against an object and assaults. Attorney Mike Kaplan provides a nice summary of the concerns raised by the CDC about the reporting of TBI in his recent blog on the subject.
Yet TBI is often overlooked and underestimated as a serious injury. In the United States, an average of 1.4 million TBI’s occur each year, but this number is really an underestimate of the true magnitude of traumatic brain injuries because it does not take into account persons treated for TBI in doctor’s offices or in hospital clinics as reported in the CDC’s article on the impact of head trauma published Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, Vol 21, No 5.
If you or a loved one suffers a head injury seek a medical consult either from a primary care physician or directly from a neurologist to ascertain the severity of the injury and to protect from future injury. When dealing with a head injury it is always better to be safe than sorry.