Brielle, the daughter of Michelle Money, a former contestant on the television show The Bachelor, suffered a traumatic brain injury in a skateboarding accident in March. The accident forced doctors to place Brielle into a medically induced coma. She is now recovering at home after spending 26 days in the hospital. Accidents like these make us realize how fragile human life and health really are and can cause concern to families of teens like Brielle.
Traumatic Brain Injury Statistics
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are injuries that cause damage to the brain by some type of external force. These injuries can occur in many ways. Some common causes are:
- Falls – almost half of TBI-related emergency room visits among children 0-17 are caused by falls
- Vehicle accidents
- Sports injuries
- Combat injuries
Approximately 1.7 million people suffer from a TBI every year in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 812,000 of these cases involve children. Most of these cases are minor concussions, but many are severe enough to require hospitalization and lead to a difficult recovery process.
Traumatic Brain Injury Symptoms
The list of TBI symptoms is long and depends on the severity of the injury. They include:
- Cognitive – memory loss, speech difficulties, confusion, difficulty concentrating and inability to form new memories
- Behavioral – rapid mood swings, aggression or depression
- Physical – Blacking out, dizziness, fainting, stiff muscles, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision or persistent headache
Different symptoms may emerge in children, including a change in eating or nursing habits, persistent crying, a change in sleeping habits or loss of interest in favorite toys or games.
For individuals who suffer a severe TBI, the initial recovery is only the first step. Many have lasting effects that can be present for years. Some TBI sufferers develop seizures, lasting infections, blood vessel damage that could lead to stroke, chronic headaches and vertigo that can linger for years after the injury. Some have reported losing the sense of smell completely, having swallowing problems or experiencing double vision or hearing loss.
Long term effects can also include cognitive problems with reasoning, judgement, problem solving, decision making and planning or competing tasks. There is also a risk of developing degenerative brain disorders years after the injury. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease or Dementia pugilistica have been linked to concussive brain injuries.
While we cannot protect our families from every danger, there are steps to take to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries.
- Proper seat belt and car seat usage
- Never operate a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Always wear a helmet when biking, skateboarding or any other activity that increases your risk of falls
- Remove clutter from walkways in your home
- Install safety gates on stairways
- Make sure windows properly lock
Traumatic brain injuries can change a life in an instant. The fear of recovery time and of lasting damage can be overwhelming. If you or a loved one have suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the carelessness of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Ligori & Ligori will listen to your story with compassion and dedicate themselves to helping you seek a fair resolution to your case. Contact us, or call (813) 254-7119 to schedule a free consultation.
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