You may have heard a lot about brain injuries in the last few years, especially among members of the military and athletes. Brain injuries can happen to anyone at any age and can have many causes. March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. It’s a time to recognize those with brain injuries, encourage them to share their stories and let them know they are not alone.
Acquired brain injury is an injury to the brain that did not happen during birth, wasn’t present from birth, is not inherited and is not degenerative, according to the Brain Injury Association of America. There are two types of brain injury: traumatic and non-traumatic.
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, can cause your brain to function in a different way. It happens when you fall, something hits your head or penetrates your skull.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were more than 64,000 TBI-related deaths in the U.S. in 2020. That breaks down to about 176 a day.
Did you know that there are more groups at higher risk for TBI? Racial and ethnic minorities, people who experience homelessness, people in correctional and detention facilities, and people who survive intimate partner violence are more likely to be affected.
At the Virginia Department of Health, the Injury Prevention Program’s goal is to prevent TBI through proven ways of preventing, diagnosing and managing concussions. There are ways parents can help children avoid concussions. There also are steps to take to prevent children and older adults from falling.
Brain injuries can be complex. There is a lot of information available to learn more, help prevent injury or to support someone living with a brain injury.
To learn more about brain injuries, prevention, treatment and other resources, visit the following sites:
- VDH Traumatic Brain Injury site
- CDC Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion site
- CDC Heads Up to Brain Injury Awareness page
- Brain Injury Association of America’s About Brain Injury page