Lately, we have been hearing more about brain injuries in connection with lawsuits involving former and current NFL payers. The ensuing debate has made many of us reconsider our activity choices for our children. The result has been an increased scrutiny of the potential sources for such injuries and the manner in which we respond to possible injuries, to include further measures to protect against future brain injuries in sports.
However, falls and motor vehicle accidents, not sports related injuries, are the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries. Recognizing a brain injury, regardless of the cause, is important in order to obtain timely medical care and to minimize any lasting complications. It is often family and friends that must bring a potential brain injury to the attention of the patient’s doctors.
A Minor Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI)Defined as the occurrence of injury to the head arising from blunt trauma or acceleration or deceleration forces involving any one of the following:
- Any period of loss of consciousness.
- Any loss of memory for events immediately before or after an accident.
- Any alteration in mental state at the time of the accident.
- Focal neurological deficits that may or may not be temporary.
- Severity of injury does not exceed:
- Loss of consciousness of more than 30 minutes.
- Initial Glasgow Coma Scale of 13-15.
- Post-traumatic amnesia longer than 24 hours.
- Symptoms Following a MTBI:
- Musculoskeletal complaints
- Post-traumatic headaches
- Balance and spatial disorientation
- Visual disturbances
- Altered taste and smell
- Hearing changes
- Sensitivity to light
- Decreased attention and concentration
- Reading and auditory comprehension problems
- Increased irritability
- Depression and anxiety
- Sleep disturbances
Potential Complications Following MTBI:
- Tendency for re-injury
- Depression and anxiety
- Avoidance of activities
- Client and family stress
- Suicidal ideations and attempts
- Functional difficulties at work and home
- Delays in recovery
- Chronic disability
- Long-term costs
- Problems with the law and/or litigation
Materials for Athletes and Coaches:
This kit contains practical, easy-to-use information including a video and DVD featuring a young athlete disabled by concussion, a guide, wallet card and clip board sticker for coaches, posters, fact sheets for parents and athletes in English and Spanish, and a CD-ROM with downloadable kit materials and additional concussion-related resources.
Children can be hurt riding a bicycle on or off the road. Most children who are killed in bike crashes are 7 to 12 years old. The most serious injuries children get while biking are head and brain injuries. These injuries can cause death or lifelong disability. Bicycling can be an enjoyable alternate form of transportation as well as recreation for children and adults when safety is practiced. Properly fitting safety helmets are a must for riders of all ages.
For more information on traumatic brain injuries, and more links to helpful brain injury prevention resources, check out: